“I'm so happy that we went that route because right now, look at us, we both have our bachelor's degrees,” Immanuel's mother said.
A mother and son duo has been making headlines after they both graduated college together, fulfilling the son’s promise made to his mom when he was just 5 years old. Immanuel Patton, a Maryland resident, had promised his mother as a kid that he will be up on the podium to receive his degree one day, but not without his mom, Carolyn Patton, getting hers as well. “I remember I just told my mom, one day, it’s gonna be you and me. We’re going to get our degrees at the same time,” 23-year-old Immanuel Patton, recalled on Good Morning America.
Carolyn is 63 and a mother of two who was more focused on providing her children with quality education and watching her son go to college rather than finishing her own degree. “For me, I had sort of given up on it because I had already accomplished some associate's degrees and then I had started my bachelor's degree back in 1995 but life happened. Things got in the way,” Carolyn told the outlet. She works as a coordinator at Anne Arundel Community College and she said that her son never gave up on his promise.
“That promise, he never allowed it to die,” Carolyn said. “It was continuously, ‘You know, mom, we're gonna do this.’”
The mother and son duo, who both have two associate’s degrees apiece had enrolled with the University of Maryland Global Campus because the school specializes in providing online degree programs. The Pattons started their class in the fall of 2020 but gradually the sessions got harder and they had to rely on each other’s support to keep moving ahead.
“I said, ‘Ma, you’ve got to keep it going. I know you want to stop. We got to keep going',” Immanuel revealed. “The main thing was just trying to get everything lined up and stay on top of her as well stay on top of myself,” he added.
18 years after vowing to graduate with his mother and 2 years of hard work to make their collective dream come true. Immanuel and his mom say that they are “very proud” of each other’s achievements. “I'm very proud of him that he has crossed off all the items on his checklist from birth till 23 years old,” Carolyn said. “I'm so happy that we went that route because right now, look at us, we both have our bachelor's degrees,” she added.
Carolyn Patton received her bachelor of arts degree in humanities whereas her son Immanuel received his bachelor of science degree in public safety administration at UMGC’s winter commencement ceremony on December 16.
“It was an experience of a lifetime,” Carolyn Patton said at the event.
President Gregory Fowler of the University of Maryland released a statement to the outlet and called the Pattons “exemplary students.”
"We are inspired by Immanuel's commitment to supporting his mother and for him to make that pledge at such a young age is truly remarkable. That we have helped him fulfill his childhood promise to Carolyn makes us all extremely proud,” Fowler said. “They were able to lift each other up at critical times during their journey. At UMGC we know that each learner may have different needs or start from different places—as exemplified by Immanuel and Carolyn—and our promise to all is that we will meet them where they are and support them as they transform their lives and the lives of those they love," he added.
With their respective degrees in hand, Immanuel plans to pursue success coach at UMGC and Carolyn plans to continue her job.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Photo by Cathy Gillis