Mother graduates after dropping out more than 30 years ago to care for her daughter

Monday, May 8, 2017
Latrice Hunter with her mom, Karen, along with her grandmother, Harriet Godfrey
Latrice Hunter with her mom, Karen, along with her grandmother, Harriet Godfrey
images-Credit: Chad Flucas II/ABC News

VIRGINIA -- One Virginia mother and daughter will have a lot to celebrate this Mother's Day because they're both graduating from college.

In May, Karen Hunter and her youngest daughter Latrice will both graduate with bachelor's degrees from colleges in Virginia, WCTI reports.

The moment is a long time coming for Karen, 53, who earned her degree in sociology from Norfolk State University on Saturday.

The mother of two dropped out of school during her senior year more than 30 years ago after she had become a mom, even though she only had 13 credits to go.

"I dropped out because I knew I had to take care of my daughter (Shonda Godfrey) and at the time I couldn't do a lot of multitasking with working and going to school," she told ABC News. "I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was a quitter because I had come that far."

It also would've meant a lot to Karen Hunter's mother, Harriet Godfrey, who wasn't able to get an education growing up.

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Her daughters said their mother made sure that they both went to college.

"She always told me to push through and not to give up on stuff. That's why I wanted to make sure I returned the favor by motivating her (to finish school,)" Latrice told ABC News.

Her older sister, Shonda Godfrey added, "I was a child when she was in college and that kind of motivated me to go to college."

In fact, Shonda Godfrey, 37, is now studying to obtain a Ph.D. in public health from Walden University. She's "very proud and ecstatic" that her mother finally finished her goal of getting a bachelor's degree, she told ABC News.

Her younger sister agreed. "It means a lot," Latrice Hunter said. "This is definitely something that I won't forget and I'll always remember this time."

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