Vickie McBride gave birth to her son at the tender age of 13, but that did not deter her from earning her PhD–or his, for that matter.
Last August, Vickie and her son, Maurice, walked across the stage at a graduate ceremony in Minneapolis, Minnesota and were handed their doctorate degrees from Capella University, WRDW-TV Augusta 12 reports.
Given their journey, Maurice said he could not have ever imagined the day he would earn such a high academic honor. “Never in a thousand, million, trillion years [did I expect to get my PhD],” Maurice said. “The thought of becoming a doctor anyone was far fetched.”
Maurice’s awe at his own success was only outdone by his mother’s achievement.
“I never thought I would get chance to see my mother walk across the stage and then she turned around and saw me walk across the stage,” he said.
Growing up in the small town of Waynesboro, Ga., Vickie said being a teenage parent was taboo. She remembers some of the older people in the community ”whispering” about her, but that did not stop her from continuing her education. Vickie’s mother, a retired teacher, took care of Maurice while she attended school.
“As a teenager I continued my education, Vickie said. ”(Dropping out) was never an option.”
She eventually went to college and even earned a graduate degree all 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.
Maurice had his own rocky road to his PhD. He dropped out of school at the age of 16 and started hanging out with the wrong people. His behavior got him in a juvenile probation facility. But he said his faith helped him turn his life around.
“I picked up the bible and I started reading and I was like it all makes sense,” he said. ”I see how it actually comes to fruition. I see how I ended up here.”
Here is more on how the two decided to be mother and son PhDs:
He got his GED and then pursued a music career. He signed a record deal with Capital Records, but he never stopped his education. It was something that was instilled in him by his mother and grandmother.