Mother and Sons Earn College Degrees in the Same Week

Chicago mom and one son accept diplomas from the same university, while a second son earns his degree at a different college, all in the same week.

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Aaron Williams and Tonya Williams

Courtesy of the Williams family

Talk about a triple play: The Williams family of Chicago, a mother and two of her sons, all received their bachelor's degrees during commencement ceremonies this week.

Aaron Williams and his mother, Tonya Williams both received bachelor's degrees from Chicago State University Thursday, while brother and son Evan Williams graduated from Eastern Illinois University earlier this week.

Tonya Williams told DNAinfo Chicago that she hoped to inspire her sons by returning to school to get her degree. Williams, 48, had entered college in 1983 in hopes of becoming a nurse, but left school after one semester to have her eldest son, Kenny.

"I wanted to finish what I started. I knew I wanted my sons to go to college, but how could I tell them to go to school if I never finished school," Tonya Williams told DNAinfo.

On Thursday, she was set to accept her bachelor's degree in psychology, having attained a 3.4 GPA.

Aaron Williams, a gifted athlete who spent a year playing basketball at the community college level before enrolling at Chicago State, will be continuing his education after Thursday's commencement. He plans to pursue a master's in higher education.

Reaching graduation was not without financial burden. Tonya Williams found herself filling out financial aid forms for herself as well as sons Aaron and Evan.

Said Evan Williams: "As far as I'm concerned, she earned three diplomas this month because without her, we would not have been able to do it.”

Read more at DNAinfo Chicago.

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