DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Over the years, Selnatta Vereen has made a lot of sacrifices in order for her children to graduate from college, but it's a new day and she's reinvesting in herself. It's something her parents would appreciate.
"You want to know my story? My mom didn't have a high school diploma and my dad never went past third grade," she said. "I promised myself and my children that I would obtain my degree and reclaim my title as first generation college graduate."
Vereen is wrapping up her first semester at Durham Tech Community College in hopes of making her deceased parents proud.
"Me having my college degree would be fulfilling. It's probably not just my dream but theirs too," she said.
Both Durham Tech Community College and North Carolina Central University announced an enhanced partnership that could make it easier for students to transfer from the community college to the university. It guarantees acceptance to Durham Tech students who meet the requirements and provides them early access to the university's resources including the library.
"Some many of them dream of getting a bachelor's but feel it is out of reach. This gives them an opportunity to participate in economic opportunities in Durham," said Lea Bingham with Durham Tech.
According to Bingham, Durham Tech currently transfers 60 students a year to NCCU. They hope this partnership doubles or triples that number.
It also creates a HBCU pipeline from the community college.
"We have a hands-on approach with our students. Very family oriented. I think that's another drive for HBCU's," said Frank Leggett with North Carolina Central University.
Other students are excited about what this could lead to.
"I hope more students go this route and fulfill their dreams," said Elliot Gray Stanley, a current student in the program.
At 55 years old, Vereen believes the possibilities around her career path are endless once she graduates from NCCU.
"You and my friends and my children are all speaking the same language. They say once I have my degree I'll want even more," she said.