Commencement season is in full swing. In the sea of graduates who have exemplified dedication and perseverance is a mother-daughter duo who will walk across the graduation stage at Grambling State University. Suzzon Jiles and her daughter Trinity Humphrey both earned bachelor’s degrees from the Louisiana-based HBCU.
Suzzon, 48, has always had a passion for enriching the minds of youth through education. The mom of two helped her mother raise her nine siblings. After graduating high school, she didn’t initially consider furthering her education but years later was inspired by her 21-year-old daughter Trinity to do so. They embarked on their journeys in higher education together, supporting each other every step of the way.
“My mom actually joined, I think, during her junior year. So, we just started the journey together,” Trinity, who reportedly shares a birthday with her mother, told WGNO. “She paved the way for me, really. She made sure I was good with everything. If I told her I wanted to do something, she made sure it was done.” Although their college experiences were far from traditional due to the shift to virtual learning amid the global pandemic, they say they’re grateful to be part of the HBCU’s community.
The culmination of their hard work will be celebrated on May 12 at Grambling State University’s commencement ceremony. Trinity will receive a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and Suzzon will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in Child Development.
“Grambling State has changed my life,” Suzzon shared in a statement, according to the institution. “I’m now educated and soon to be degreed! I have enjoyed every connection I have made here, finding friends for a lifetime and a plethora of knowledge about early childhood education. I’m very much grateful for that.” She aspires to open a Monroe-based child development center.
Trinity—who plans on enrolling in the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and wants to one day become a pediatric dentist—says studying at the university has empowered her to chase her dreams boldly.
Suzzon and Trinity’s milestone comes nearly a year after another Louisiana-based mother-daughter duo made history by graduating from medical school together.