Graduation conflict: Fayetteville mom, son get degrees at same time, different cities

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Demetra Myers and her son, Jurel, are graduating the same day, but from different colleges.

A Cumberland County family is facing an unusual graduation conflict -- Demetra Myers and her son, Jurel, are graduating college on the same day at the same time -- but at different locations.

Demetra attends Fayetteville State University while Jurel goes to North Carolina Central.

A child's commencement is a moment no mother wants to miss, but the Myers family is determined to support each other in spirit where they can't in flesh.

"It's very heartbreaking for me, because I want to see him cross the stage," said Demetra Myers.

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It took Demetra 20 years to get her bachelor's degree.

"My husband was in the military, and I wanted to go back to school previously, but he traveled all the time and so it was hard for me," Demetra said.

Demetra soon found that pursuing her education would be just as hard.

"I wanted to take the laptop and throw it out of the window because I couldn't do it. Calculus and trig class was really hard," she explained.

Demetra would press her way through college, earning a 3.8 GPA along with several student-teaching awards. Her son, Jurel, will graduate with equally impressive merit, crossing Alpha Phi Alpha and maintaining a 3.1 GPA.

"It's really an accomplishment for her," Jurel said. "It shows that she didn't listen to everyone telling her she's too old or too mature to go back to college."

As for the same day graduation, Jurel and his mom have an agreement.

"We already came to the understanding that it's a milestone for me, but also a milestone for her," he said.

Most of the Myers family will go with Jurel while Demetra's mother and close friends will support her.

Demetra will graduate this Saturday with a degree in education. She already has a job at Douglas Byrd High School.

Jurel will graduate with a degree in Hospitality and plans to open a restaurant.

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