A big day for grads and moms across the Triangle

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The class of 2018 finally turning their tassels at colleges and universities across the Triangle this weekend.

Among those, Duke graduates.

"Wherever your passion takes you, I urge you to take the power you have been given and use it for good!" said CEO of Apple Tim Cook, who also served as the commencement speaker.

Cook also took a moment to celebrate moms.

Mothers have been there for their now-graduated kids through the tough tests and late night essay writing sessions. Moms have been that encouraging word on tough days.

"My mom has been an incredible support system since I was little, so it's really special that I get to celebrate here with her while I get my degree," said graduate Catalina Sanchez-Zarrion.

Her mother flew in from Peru to celebrate graduation with her daughter.

Valerie Parker graduated Duke for the second time, this time with her Master's degree. Both her mother and aunt are by her side.

"She started her program when her father just passed," said Cynthia McCarthy-Parker, Valerie's mom. "So it was really hard so now we're really proud."

Valerie credits not only her mother but the other strong women in her life with her success. "I definitely would not be here without them at all."

As graduates walked the stage and turned their tassels, thousands of moms across the triangle cheer on their sons and daughters for their accomplishments. "I couldn't have a better mother's day than to be here celebrating alongside Catalina!"
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.