SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Walking across the stage to receive your college diploma is a moment mothers love to take lots of pictures of. But, imagine getting to avoid that – because they’re graduating with you.
One mother and daughter are excited to be graduating from Evangel University together. The mother asked her daughter if she’s okay with all of this – she of course said yes.
Andrea Redding went to the University of Valley Forge for a year.
“I went to college when I was 17, and met my husband,” Redding said. “And I got my ‘Mrs.’ degree.”
She dropped out so she could work and earn money for her family. Her husband was still in school.
“I had a couple of great jobs in between,” Andrea said. “And oh, I had two wonderful daughters.”
Abigail and her younger sister Megan both studied at Evangel.
“When my youngest daughter went to college, I felt like it was time to really jump in and pursue this,” Andrea said.
An online degree in business management – at her daughter’s school.
Abigail Redding said it’s been special having this experience.
“I think it’s really, really cool that she’s finally getting to accomplish that goal,” Abigail Redding said.
But not without some family teasing.
“Giving her a hard time about, ‘you need to get your schoolwork done.'”
“Megan, she would say she’s helping me through school,” Andrea said.
“And what would be your response?”
“Oh, no way. I’m doing it all on my own.”
But Abigail would say otherwise.
“There’s just been times where she’s just been like ‘hey can you help me just figure out a word?’ or ‘can you help me work through this problem?’ or ‘can you just help me figure this out quick before you go do your thing?'”
Abigail said it’s been fun getting to see the daughter-mother dynamic shift.
This Friday, April 7, the 22 and 45-year-olds will graduate.
“My baby. It’s pretty awesome that we get to experience this together,” Andrea said. “I’m so proud of her and what she has accomplished in her four years here.”
“We’re both going to scream our heads off for each other,” Abigail said. “It’s really exciting. I feel like not a lot of children get to see their parent graduate.”
The family plans to move to Pennsylvania soon. Andrea is going to work with her husband at a camp and conference center as a business administrator.
Abigail says she wants to find her own job, but she’s happy to help if needed.