Black Men

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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