North Carolina woman is part of largest class of African-American women to graduate West Point

SANFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- Photos posted during final exams at West Point of 34 African-American women cadets in uniform went viral and generated many positive comments.

One of those women, Tiffany Welch-Baker, has roots in North Carolina. Her mother Tracy Welch spoke with ABC11 on Sunday, as she prepared for the journey home with her family.

RELATED: West Point to graduate its largest class of black women

"I'm so happy to be able to share this moment with everyone! Not just my family. We're getting calls from all over. We're appreciative of that," said Welch. "I'm very, very proud of her. I'm very proud of all the young ladies. I've had the opportunity to meet most of them, and they are fabulous young ladies! High caliber, great personalities, and they are going to do all of us proud!"

The 34 cadets were the largest class of African-American women to graduate from West Point.

"Tiffany had gone to college at Fayetteville Tech and she didn't do so well. And so, me being mommy, I told her she had 30 days to decide what it was she wanted to do with her life. The next day she came in and told me she enlisted in the Army, and I cried! She made that decision for herself, " recalled Welch.

Welch said Tiffany was sent to Korea and while there, she had the opportunity to apply to West Point with a new program that took prior service to allow attendance.

"There were Hispanics, there were Asians. They have a bond that they're never going to break. They have a commonality, in what they experienced at West Point and that's what holds them together. That's what bonds them together," Welch told ABC11.

The West Point class of 2019 also boasts the highest number of female Hispanic graduates.
"I used to watch them push one another: 'No, you need to go study! No, you need to go run! No, you're not going to sleep all day. Let's go, let's move! We'll run with you!" I saw things like that, time and time again," said Welch.

Welch said Tiffany will return to West Point in July and head to Fort Lee in August for officer training.
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