Mom Follows Sons to University, Earns Her Own Degree

A lot of parents sacrifice their own dreams and aspirations for their children. Many young people who got pregnant at an early age quit school to find a job to support their children; while there are those who were unable to continue going to school due to poverty even if they did not marry young.

But getting a degree does not have a deadline – and age is certainly not a hindrance for fulfilling your dreams and completing your college education.

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When twins Aaron and Aubrey Hough were accepted at Florida A&M University, they did not want to leave their mother Madelyn McClarey alone at their home in South Florida. Instead, they insisted that she go with them – and she decided to follow their lead!

With the twins’ older brother Blake studying at Tallahassee Community College, they thought it would be a good idea to also bring their mom along so they could all study together. A single parent, Madelyn took a 1-year leave of absence from her job as elementary school language coach, found a townhouse in Tallahassee, and enrolled at Tallahassee Community College.

Madelyn lives with her eldest son while the twins live in-campus at Florida A&M University. She earned her associate of arts degree, with honors.

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But this brilliant woman would later move to Florida A&M University after receiving scholarship through a program that offers guaranteed admission to students from transfer schools meeting academic standards.

I’m most proud of the fact that she was able to earn this degree despite having gone through so much as a single parent and as a person,” Aaron said.

I’m glad that she was able to see her decision with this degree through, and it means a lot to our family that she is able to attain her degree finally, regardless of the many familial situations throughout her collegiate experience.

Madelyn recently graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in English, minor in education. Aubrey will graduate from a music business course this fall while Aaron will graduate from a specialized degree in music composition next year.

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Their story might not be so common, but they are living proof that it can be done. Their motto?

“The family that studies together, stays together!”