Mom and Son Keep 20 Year-Old Promise, Graduate College Together

African American Student Celebrates Graduation

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When he was in kindergarten, Immanuel Patton, made a promise to his mom, Carolyn Patton, that they would get their college degrees at the same time. That was about 20 years ago and this past weekend, that promise was kept when the Baltimore mother of two and her son both received bachelor's degrees from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

Over the course of their journey to get their degrees, they had difficulties, but they encouraged each other to keep the promise. "He says, 'No, if I can do it, you can do it. We're going to do it together.' I'm like, 'I don't know about that,’” Carolyn recalls. “He said, 'Yes, we are going to do this together. I made you a promise, mom, and we're going to do this.'”

Carolyn received her degree in humanities and will use it to increase her pay at her job as a coordinator at Anne Arundel Community College. And Immanuel plans to use his new degree in public safety administration to start a career as an academic advisor, a field he became interested in through working with his mom to get their degrees. Both of the new grads are happy that they were able to reach their goal together. "Feels really good, definitely,” Immanuel says. “Feel like I accomplished my promise.”

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