BEAUMONT, Texas — With graduation in sight, it has been quite the journey the for Lamar University senior Kierra Thompson. Like a number of students, she had to deal with natural disasters and the pandemic, over the course of a few years in college.
A big part of her inspiration to graduate came from the person who inspires her the most: her mom.
"The number one lesson is not to depend on anybody, for sure a man," Thompson said. "So you gotta do it on your own -- don't depend on nobody and two it's okay to ask for help."
Thompson comes from a single-parent home. Her mother, Katina Gordon, completed her degree at Lamar University in 2018. It was that fire to succeed that pushed her to work hard and follow in her mother's footsteps.
Gordon, who now works for a school district in Southeast Texas, also credits her mom for inspiring her to finish her degree.
"At times, it was not easy, I wanna thank my mother and she doesn't understand that it was very hard in the beginning," Gordon said. "I never let her know that, but I want my mother to know that we appreciate everything she's done and none of this would have been possible without my mother."
For these two women, they say it's taken a village and a lot of faith to get them this far, it's why graduation means everything to them.
"It's time to pass on the torch, I got my first degree and with me being 23 and have accomplish so much so far, I'm now able to pass it on when it time to have children," Thompson said."
Following gradation, Thompson says she plans on becoming a school teacher in Galveston.