A mother and the son she had at 13, who also became a high school dropout, has made history. Both of them later combined resilience and the inspiration they got from the Bible to overcome their odds. Today, the story is different. They graduate together with doctorate degrees on the same day at the recent Capella University graduation ceremony.
“I didn’t let my situation define who I was. I defined my situation. I looked at my situation and I told [the] situation this is where we are going and this is what we are doing,” said the mother, Vickie.
“Never in a thousand, million, trillion years [did I expect to get my PhD]. The thought of becoming a doctor anyone was far-fetched,” said her son, Maurice McBride
His mother, Vickie McBride, explained that “at the age of 13, I got pregnant with Maurice.”
As a young mother and the daughter of a teacher growing up with her shame in Waynesboro was difficult. “It [teen pregnancy] was shunned upon and of course the people in the community were whispering,” she said.
But Vickie McBride persevered with the help of her mother, now retired, and continued her education.
“As a teenager I continued my education,” she explained. She went on to college and graduate school as well, while raising Maurice and three other children.
“I had to figure out how to work and how to parent and how to manage school all at the same time.” she said.
The idea of both of them going in for doctorate degrees came from Maurice. One day he decided to call his mother and pitched the idea and she decided to go for it.
“I said ‘hey I think I’m gonna get my PhD. You wanna do this with me?’ ‘No that’s OK. You bumped your head, but you can go ahead and you can do it. I’m done with school,'” he recalled his mother saying.
After a little reasoning, however, they both settled that they would do it. Vickie graduated with a doctorate in K-12 education and Maurice in organizational management.