After defying the odds, a mother-daughter duo based in New York has crossed the graduation stage together.

In December 2023, Barbara Wiggins, 58, and Tanisha Wiggins, 36, graduated in the same class from Onondaga Community College, where they received their associate of science degrees in human services, according to ABC News.

Before earning her degree, Barbara shared that she was inspired to attend college after seeing other people pursue their degrees. Once she received her GED, she made steps to enroll in college.

“I didn’t give up because, you know, although my children have grown, I had grandchildren and I don’t want them to give up,” said Barbara, who is a mother of five and grandmother of 12, according to the outlet. “I want them to know that if I could do this, you can do this.”

“[My mom] proved everyone wrong that thought she wouldn’t be able to do it,” Tanisha chimed in. “She really got through it at the age she is now with tutoring and everything, and she went every single day. She did not stop. It didn’t matter what the weather was, she went. And I’m really proud of her.”

Initially, Tanisha attended Onondaga Community College at age 18. However, due to battling depression and having constant hospital visits, she was unable to finish.

She decided to return nearly two decades later, not only for herself but for her two children. Thanks to assistance from family and the community college’s on-site daycare, Tanisha was able to accomplish her goal.

“It was a lot for me but I did it with my mom’s support and the day care support. I was able to make it happen,” Tanisha said. “I’m so grateful they have that day care at that school because I don’t know what I would have done without them.”