At just five-years-old, Immanuel Patton made a promise to his mother, Carolyn Patton, that they would earn their college degrees together.
“I remember I just told my mom … one day, it’s gonna be you and me. We’re going to get our degrees at the same time,” Immanuel told Good Morning America.
Prior to walking in their caps and gowns, both the mother and son had two associate degrees. Initially, Carolyn wasn’t adamant about finishing her degree.
“For me, I had sort of gave up on it because I had already accomplished some associate’s degrees and then I had started my bachelor’s degree back in 1995 but life happened,” the 63-year-old admitted, according to the outlet. “Things got in the way.”
However, Immanuel stepped in to encourage his mother to keep going.
With persistence and resilience, the mother-son duo was successful in making their dream come true together.
“We are inspired by Immanuel’s commitment to support his mother — and for him to make that pledge at such a young age is truly remarkable,” University of Maryland Global Campus President Gregory Fowler shared in a statement. “That we have helped him fulfill his childhood promise to Carolyn makes us all extremely proud,” Fowler said. “They were able to lift each other up at critical times during their journey. At UMGC we know that each learner may have different needs or start from different places—as exemplified by Immanuel and Carolyn—and our promise to all is that we will meet them where they are and support them as they transform their lives and the lives of those they love.”
After crossing the stage, Carolyn will continue to work as a coordinator at Anne Arundel Community College. As for Immanuel, he is set to be a success coach at UMGC, where he will help students with their college paths.