Mother Has Child at 13, Son Drops Out of HS – They Both Get PhDs at the Same Time

sdopdsopwepoweWe might all agree that additional education is valuable for everyone.  A mother and son decided to take their educational journey together and it’s getting them both some well-deserved attention.  Maurice McBride and his mother Vickie now both have their doctorates after years of hard work and goal-setting.

“Never in a thousand, million, trillion years [did I expect to get my PhD]. The thought of becoming a doctor anyone was far fetched,” said Dr. Maurice McBride.

Maurice says that seeing his mother walk across the stage was inspirational and something that represents a lifetime achievement for their family.

“I never thought I would get chance to see my mother walk across the stage and then she turned around and saw me walk across the stage,” he said.

Vickie started as a mother at a very early age.   She was just a middle school kid when she gave birth to her son, making her the age of an older sister rather than a mom. This small age gap allows the two of them to work together on joint goals, which has turned the challenge of young motherhood into a rewarding experience.

“At the age of 13 I got pregnant with Maurice,” said Dr. Vickie McBride.”It was shunned upon and of course the older people in the community were whispering.”

Vickie says that having a child at an early age didn’t stop her from going after her long-term goals.  She also encouraged her son to go to school as well.   While raising Maurice and three other children, Vickie continued in school and reached for the stars.  Maurice struggled in school, dropping out of high school at the age of 16.

“As a teenager I continued my education. That was never an option,” explained Vickie. “I had to figure out how to work and how to parent and how to manage school all at the same time.” she said.

Maurice took some time to come around, but eventually realized that not being educated was a bad move for his future.

“[I] started hanging out with some of the wrong people and got into some trouble,” Maurice said.

Maurice spent time working in the music industry, and eventually turned toward school again.  That’s when he and his mother decided to go back to school together.   After years of hard work, Vickie earned her doctorate in K-12 Education and Maurice studied Organizational Management, both graduating from Capella University, an online university.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, who has been teaching at the college level for the last 20 years, says that this family’s story is an example of how a tough situation can be turned into something wonderful.

“Mothers, fathers, daughters and sons can do this all over the country,” said Dr. Watkins, author of the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College.”  

“My mother was also a 17-year old teen mom, but it was her sacrifice that made me into the man that I am today.”

Dr. Watkins says that despite having a young, single mother, she and his stepfather raised their three children to become a professor, a physician and an Ivy League graduate.  He says that you should remember to never give up, no matter how difficult things may be.

Congratulations to the McBride family, you make us all proud.

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  1. Would Rasha Entertainment be interested in doing the movie? Let’s talk!

  2. To: Dr. Vickie McBride and Dr. Maurice McBride;

    I congratulate and salute you both. I wish for you both all of the love, joy, success and happiness due
    each of you.
    Thank you.

    Patti Peoples, a member of your overflowing community.

  3. Congratulations. I love it.

  4. The words of his mother echo’s the words of the mighty Sparrow (The calypso king of the world).Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) was self thought in a lot of things, in one of his greatest calypso “Education” he said “there is no place in this whole wide world for an uneducated little boy or girl. (Maurice took some time to come around, but eventually realized that not being educated was a bad move for his future).

  5. AWESOMELY AWESOME!!!!! Their life story should be brought to the silver screen. What an inspiration… ~♥~♥~ Two heart’s beating as one to become Doctor’s! I seriously have a tear in my eye for this story. ~ 😛 ~

  6. Congratulations to the mother and her son. My sister’s sixteen year old daughter got pregnant in high school. Not only did she graduated high school, but went on to college and earned a Masters degree by twenty four. At thirty she graduated law school and is now a successful attorney at the age of thirty eight. And mind you, she went to a few top notch colleges. What she and this mother and son had in common was the inner drive to succeed.

  7. When I read this story I thought, my what an inspirational story. I was so inspired that I shared this story with my nieces, and to my surprise and dismay, my 14 year old nieced said, ” I told you I don’t have to finish high school before I have a baby. So my question, is the message clear? Should this occasion be celebrated, because it is incredibly rare, thus can be critically misleading?

    • Hi Yvette,
      I would love to reach out to your 14 year old niece. Clearly she missed the whole meaning behind my story. My life wasn’t a “cake walk” and she needs to know and understand that. Please tell me how I might be able to reach out to her to inspire her and see that having a child as a teenager isn’t the route that any young person should choose to take. Contact me at

      Have a blessed and prosperous New Year.

  8. What an inspiring story of hard work and dedication. They should be role models for all of those stuck in poverty without a way out. Education is the ultimate equalizer, it “is a way out of no way” that my mom would sing to me while in college without money and no loans back then. She sang, “The Lord will make a way” and he did. 4 decades later, I retired from a career teaching from Preschool to college. This week I am being honored by having my name bestowed on the technology center I planned and started with one computer in 1989. Now I sing, “The Lord made a way out of no way” God is good and God is able to do for you what He did for me and this mother and son. Try God and get an education

  9. Hey it’s great and don’t worry about the people who are not in your favor. I dig the story and our ancestors would love US to raise above the bull stuff and become educated. Great job!

  10. It amazes me that we as black people can always find the time and energy to bring one another down. We can’t seem to come together as a people not even to appreciate our own doing something positive such as this but we welcome our children acting and speaking with such ignorance. I am proud of this woman for reaching her goals and teaching her child to do the same. Wake up people…..let’s teach our children to have pride within themselves.

  11. The most inspiring story I have heard on this site in a long time. Congrats to you both, It just goes to show those that want it can obtain it regardless of their situation! God bless you both! This should inspire others to do the same and stop feeling sorry for themselves, it is out there and yours for the taking.

  12. Wishing much success to the McBrides! Inspiring story. Take heed, people.

  13. LOL, Butch And Candee two day-um asp flies in the bucket of milk!! No matter what, an education is just that, these Gentiles go to inner city schools and teach their debts off, so can our African-American youths. All they need is the door opened, they’ll get it themselves!! Let me ask you two holier-than-thou buckets, are you investing in our black community or blowing smoke like the black version of Larry, Moe and Curly, always seeking center stage??

  14. Capella University is a regionally accredited and duly recognized college, online notwithstanding. Online advanced degrees is the wave of the future. Many prestigious universities are now offering online degrees for which there is a growing demand from intelligent folk who don’t find in-residence classes to be a viable option.

    Congratulations to Drs. Vickie and Maurice McBride!

  15. ‘…when you fall, fall on your back because if you can look up you can get up…!’ That’s just the way we – as a people – do it! CONGRATULATIONS FAMILY!

  16. This was not only nice it was Beautiful God will make a way.

  17. Some knock down education: I’ve been in a business office where the person makes millions and one repeated phrase or sentence is “you don’t need an education to be rich and A students work for C students: all thus is followed by in this business, you can send your child/children to the best schools. Go figure that one (?)
    One thing for sure is that once you get that education, it’s gotten and no one can take it away. Another experience was when I was working on my masters degree, a manager would constantly remind me he was a few credits away from getting his degree. The only thing is that, I had more credits than he did at that time and I have graduated more than four years ago with my masters in nursing education while he is still “those few credits away from obtaining his masters”. Trust me when I say, this black woman the youngest of a large family, with older parents from Mississippi, who were not educated past grade school and I was raised in East Saint Louis, Illinois had way more obstacles to get my degree than a white man, from a small family with an educated parent(s)
    If this son and mom were stats like:
    Son of teen mom in jail for life or teen mom turned out on drugs and prostituting charges, the same people complaining about that lol.
    Thank goodness there are more positive people in the world! Keep moving forward and be encouraged!

    • Typically, Black A students work for White C students! Because, White students have been conditioned to go into business; Blacks have been programmed to go get a job.

      • You’re direct on point. .”get a job”, no get an education if at all possible!! These loud mouths Smiley, Cornell and Boyce, what struggling student(s) have they assisted? Big time “buck whites” don’t fall over yourselves standing up to say “I have”!!

  18. There needs to be a movie made on the life of the McBride family.

  19. Your attitude determines your altitude!

  20. Congratulations to the both of them. I was thinking finally some positive feed back on such a wonderful, inspiring accomplishment. But, of course the haters peek their ugly heads out. Butch and Candee we can do with out all of your negativism. Don’t hate appreciate.

    • I gave my opinion on the reality of (1) student loan debt and (2) obtaining degrees from “universities” that employers don’t typically have a favorable view of. I’m glad that they both saw the value and necessity of pursuing higher education, but there are real world consequences to any decision we make–be it positive or negative, regardless of the intention. Research these schools and you’d be surprised. You have to proceed with caution and if you’re racking up 50k debt then make sure that piece of paper delivers on the investment. Additionally, we all have our own opinions and we don’t have to agree. That’s the purpose of an open forum such as this one–to encourage spirited dialogue. If you choose one of these for profit institutions widely known as diploma mills so be it. IN MY OPINION it’s not a good investment. When you’re earning your Masters in 11 months or your PhD in two years then that should be a red flag.

      • Candice, it’s your opinion- in my opinion is not a
        Very good opinion. Don’t matter as long as
        We have an education. Better than being In jail
        And Hod has his timing..

      • Candee,
        I totally agree with you regarding the schools that are “diploma mills”. Fortunately, I didn’t choose one. After attending two HBCU’s, doing an online program was indeed a challenge for both me and my son. My program took me 6 years and my son 4 to complete, so if you haven’t attended one of these programs, you’re really at at disadvantage to offer you opinion regarding the validity of the degree. As you stated, we’re all entitle to our opinion, but this is fact.

  21. I’m glad they finished up, but I feel as tho education is exaggerated! I’m one of those people who didn’t need it. It’s not for everyone, just be careful with the debt u rack up! Sometimes it’s really not worth it! I feel like people usually hire folks based on their education, which is scary!

  22. Great story, but I’m hoping their undergraduate education is from a more reputable college. Capella–along with the other for profit, minority targeting diploma mills like Strayer, Devry, Univ of Phoenix, and others leave students with massive debt and a degree that many employers view as low quality. You may get lucky in terms of a promotion if you’re already working in the field. Nothing worth anything comes easy or quick.

    • I can say Univ of Phoenix was a well organized school compared to the University of Memphis who uses ecourseware and half the professors don’t know how to use the system. I guess people don’t think about the loan debt because who wants to pay 120 payments who will be sold to other companies. I have degrees but they have not worked for me. I make more money than more people with a degree and the qualification for my job is a high school diploma. Most of the people on my job talk about the people who have degrees and say we still in the same position but we have degrees. I am happy for the McBride family they probably will make enough money to pay back the loans. I wish them well but I wished I had stopped when I received my AS degree debt free.

  23. Beautiful story…Mother and Son graduating together with doctorates. That is amazing! A great story to share with younger generations

  24. This success story is a relief from all of the negative stories that show up I my Email account subject lines. This is a success story all people for
    And one all blacks can be proud of. *Salute *

  25. Congratulations what an inspirational news.I love it