Mother, son, nephew walk across stage in MDC graduation

MIAMI (WSVN) - A mother, her son, and her nephew all walked across the stage for a special moment as they graduated together at Miami-Dade College, Saturday.

Octavia Anderson took her first class at MDC back in 1993.

“You know, you start something, and you go until it’s finish. No matter what,” Anderson said.

Now, 25 years later, she walked across the stage to receive a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

But for Anderson, the ceremony is extra special as some familiar faces walked by her side: her son and her nephew.

“I am so happy. I am excited. I am proud of my sons, my daughters and my nephew — my whole family — and especially of myself for finishing it,” Anderson said.

The trio join what appears to be a family tradition. Twelve relatives have attended MDC — four of which were Anderson’s very own children.

“Education is very important because it’s a stepping stone. It’s a milestone,” Anderson said.

The milestone is now something her son, Phillip Hardemon, shares.

“Trying to figure out how to become a part of this larger society around us,” Hardemon said. “Today, again, is a culminating act. It’s our stance and our mark that we have arrived and there’s much more to do, in terms of us actually being a benefit to society around us.”

Anderson has been working at the Miami-Dade College North campus for over 20 years, and even though she says finishing school wasn’t easy, it was all worth it.

“If you’re educated, you can go anywhere you want,” Anderson said. “You can create anything with or without education, but education is the key. And most places you go, if you have a degree, you have an advantage.”

Anderson’s nephew, Kenderick Watson, couldn’t agree more.

“We worked so hard in school to reach this point and having a degree, like my aunt said, is an advantage in the work force — in the world, period,” Watson said. “I feel that this is a great accomplishment and we should celebrate.”

Watson and Hardemon both graduated with bachelor’s degrees as well.

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