It looked like any other graduation regalia. But for Delta Elizabeth Thomas, it was more than the sheen and gathers that set her robe apart. The knowledge that her mother, Delta Glynn Boyd, had worn the same article 30 years ago when she graduated summa cum laude from what was then Tarrant County Junior College made the occasion even more special.
“It was important as I’m. . .following her footsteps. She is the one who taught me about TCC, taught me how to register and always taught me the importance of the mind, intellect and education,” said the recent TCC graduate, whose mother had worked and raised seven children before pursuing her education. “She made everything a learning experience whether going to the swimming pool or to the museum. It was always an educational experience.”
Delta, joined at graduation by her mother, son, sister, nieces, cousins, uncles and aunts, was one of many graduates whose achievement was supported by a village of loved ones.
Jolynda Collins was joined by friend, Carolyn Mason, and out-of-town relatives, Sharee Crumbey and Deborah Hogan. Deborah and her daughter came to support her niece, who had put her education on hold to care for her ill mother until after her death. “I came here because it’s family. That’s what you do for family. You are there when they need you the most,” said cousin, Sharee.
Grandparents Janice and Bob Hammond were beaming as they waited to see the granddaughter they raised, Natasha Hammond, graduate after working as a fast food manager to put herself through school. Janice said her granddaughter was so excited that she often said, “If they had let me go to college before high school I would have loved it.”
Some supporters may not have known what was going on, but were there all the same including 9-month-old Michelle Semba, attending graduation with her grandmother, Zinda Semba, and aunt, Tarisha Semba, to support the accomplishment of her mother, Myeshia Semba.