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Mother, daughter graduate together from Georgia Piedmont Technical College

By Staff Reports

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    ROCKDALE COUNTY, Georgia (Clayton News Daily) — Among the 625 students who have qualified for graduation at Georgia Piedmont Technical College are two who have a special connection. Mother and daughter 55-year-old Kendrix Ladson and 26-year-old Alyeese Williams of Snellville will both receive their degrees in the May 20 ceremony — Ladson completed her associate of applied science degree in health information technology while Williams earned a diploma in early childhood care and education.

The ceremony was set to take place at Springfield Baptist Church in Rockdale County — the first time since 2019 students graduating from Georgia Piedmont Technical College were able to walk across a real stage and be recognized by a crowd of supporters and loved ones.

Ladson is employed as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), having earned that diploma from GPTC several years ago. Like so many, the pandemic gave her time to do some soul-searching to figure out what comes next.

“I had time on my hands, and I wanted to add on to the career I already had,” Ladson said. “I set a personal goal, and I accomplished it. Now I am looking for either a bridge program to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing or continue to focus more on the technology side with health information technology or informatics.”

Both mother and daughter worked while attending school. They were each other’s support system, taking turns playing mom or grandmother to Williams’ 3-year-old daughter, Journi.

Williams says not only was her mother a rock during this process but she was her primary motivation to keep going.

“Her excitement moved me so much,” Williams said. “It gives me chills to see how it’s not how you start but how you finish. She’s proof that it’s never too late.”

Amazingly, the duo didn’t even realize they were able to graduate on the same day until January of this year.

“My instructor and I were reviewing what classes I took and what I had left and a light bulb came on,” said Williams. “I said, ‘wait a minute. I can finish at the same time as my mom!’”

Now both mother and daughter say they have already been approached by multiple organizations and have their choice of the next career step.

According to GPTC, 625 students qualified for graduation over the last academic year (summer and fall of 2022 and spring of 2023). The college will award a total of 883 credentials: 121 degrees, 164 diplomas, and 598 technical certificates of credit.

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