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Family challenge aims to encourage others to go back to school

Mother, daughter challenge to graduate college together aims to encourage others to go back to schoo
Mother, daughter challenge to graduate college together aims to encourage others to go back to schoo 01:46

CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) -- A Camden County mother and daughter challenged each other to graduate college at the same time. Now, the family is using their educational journey to encourage adults to go back to school.

Every step Regina Whittick now takes feels just a bit lighter.

"It's exciting. It's a weight off my shoulder that I'm done," Whittick said. "It's very excited."

At the age of 50, Whittick graduated from Rutgers University-Camden with a degree in business management.

"Never did I ever think I would get to this point," she said. "It was a challenge and I didn't think I'd ever finish it, but here I am."

The challenge wasn't just balancing classes, but doing it while also being a full-time working mother.

It was a challenge she gave to her daughter, Charlotte Berryhill, right after she graduated high school.

"I challenged her because we were going back at the same time," Whittick said, "so it was a challenge for us to both get done at the same time so we could graduate together."

It was a challenge they accomplished together. Her daughter got her degree in biology from Rutgers University's main campus. However, it required some juggling on Whittick's part to hold up her end.

"Getting things done, maintaining the house, maintaining your career and trying to get your homework done at the same time, so yes, it is a challenge," she said.

It was also a challenge that's not new to Whittick's family. Her father, Paul, also graduated from Rutgers-Camden in 1975 at the age of 50.

"He was Rutgers-Camden through and through, so I know he would be on my side. He would be over the moon proud of me," Whittick said.

She hopes her family's story inspires others to get their degree.

"As a woman, a full-time working mom, that you can go back to school, you can get this done," Whittick said.

While the weight of getting her bachelor's degree has been lifted, she's putting a new, heavier weight on her shoulders, setting her sights on getting a master's degree.

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