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Metro Detroit mother, daughter graduate high school together

Michigan mother, daughter graduate high school together
Michigan mother, daughter graduate high school together 02:25

ROCHESTER, Mich. (CBS DETROIT ) - Thousands of students are graduating high school in front of their loved ones this spring, but not many get to walk across the stage with one of their parents.

Maria Ramirez decided to pursue her high school diploma at Utica Community School's Adult Education Program to inspire her children, who were struggling in high school at the time. Not only did she earn her diploma with her daughter Ashley on Saturday, but she also took the next step in following her childhood dream.

Ramirez never finished high school the first time around, choosing to help support her mother instead.

"I saw my mom struggling so much, it came to the point where I had to drop my classes and everything to step in and help my mom," she said.

While pushing her children to earn their high school diplomas by doing just that herself, Ramirez remembered the dream she always had growing up: to own her own restaurant.

"Since I was little, I've always liked to be in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, making, and baking all this stuff, and I was like, 'You know what? This is going to get me somewhere.'" Ramirez said.

Her childhood passion is getting a second chance, taking her to culinary school at Macomb County Community College. Her daughter Ashley says she's also looking at a brighter future since finding inspiration from her mother's journey. She plans on pursuing a career in the nursing field.

"When she told me, I didn't believe it. I was like, 'You're going to graduate with me?' It was so exciting. I was crying. I was like, 'Oh my goodness, my mom and I are actually going to graduate together.' I would have never expected this to come, but here it's happening," said recent UCS Alternative Learning Center graduate Ashley Rivera.

Ramirez is humble about her accomplishments, even though she's the first person in her family to do this.

While it might not have been her goal to be the first person in her family with a high school diploma, she is definitely making sure she won't be the last.

Now that Ramirez has seen her eldest daughter walk across the stage and earn her diploma, she says there are only five more to go in her family.

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