VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It was a special day for the graduates of Tidewater Community College, especially for Linda and Danielle Owens who got to graduate together.
“I was overwhelmed I wanted to cry I mean I guess it was breathtaking, amazing,” described Linda.
Linda Owens and her 25-year-old daughter, Danielle, sat side by side, and got their diplomas on right after the other.
“I think we’re proud of each other,” said Danielle.
Danielle became a student at TCC back in 2012.
Four years later, her mother began classes there after learning she needed more college courses to be considered for a promotion.
For this pair, the journey was far from easy.
“I have a learning disability and it has taken me about five years to graduate high school and now it’s taken me 6 years to graduate college,” explained Danielle.
In addition, Linda who has ADHD, went through three knee surgeries while taking classes.
“Every time I kept coming out of the operating room I had my laptop in my lap I kept going,” Linda said.
Danielle says with her fellow student, and biggest fan there cheering her on, she knew she’d make it to the finish line.
“We did a lot of studying together we were at TCC library from the time she’d get off work and sit there and study until right at closing and they even had to kick us out a lot of times,” she explained.
The graduates have a few words of advice for those out there questioning whether they can accomplish their goals.
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t achieve anything because I’m 57, I’ve achieved it,” advised Linda.
“My advice to people is don’t let a disability get in the way because look where I’ve come,” added Danielle.
Linda and Danielle both got their associates degrees in Early Childhood Education.
They say the don’t want any children with disabilities to get lost in the system.
Now, they plan to start furthering their education with bachelors degrees.