Lauren Salter and her son Courtney Salter displayed an example of true family excellence after graduating from Alabama State University, just two days apart.
The ceremonies took place over the weekend of November 20 at the Alabama State University football stadium.
“I had no idea it was going to happen like this. I just made up in my mind that nothing’s going to stop me,” Lauren said in an interview adding, “ASU reached out and embraced me… They didn’t know my story, but they cared, they were compassionate, and they made it happen for me.”
Her son Courtney was proud of both of their achievements saying, “...it was amazing to finally get this done for myself and also for my mom.” Talking about her journey, he added, “She’s been talking about wanting to go back and get her degree for the longest. To see it finally come to fruition has just been amazing.”
Courtney graduated magna cum laude in May after earning a degree in finance from the Business School. His original ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic, but he walked on November 22. His mom earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and walked in the ceremony on November 20.
Courtney actually started his education on ASU’s campus, attending the Zelia Stephens Early Childhood Learning Center. Courtney’s father Kim is also a graduate of ASU’s Business School and owns a business across the street from the school’s Montgomery campus.
Lauren started her collegiate career in the fall of 1984 at Auburn University at Montgomery before transferring to Trenholm State Community College. She earned several associates degrees and became an EMT before starting a 28-year career as a dental assistant.
In 2000, she set out to realize her dream of finishing school but life events prevented her from taking classes during the day. But after Courtney finished high school in 2016 and enrolled at ASU, she began discussing the idea of finishing her studies. Courtney supported her goals and helped her stay accountable to them.
“I’m very proud of how she never let obstacles get in her way,” he said of his mom, “It may have slowed her down, but it never stopped her.”
The mother-son duo finished their studies and were able to walk together because of the global pandemic.
“I guess that’s the good part of the whole thing,” Courtney said, “I guess, in a way, for m[y ceremony] to get postponed until now… I don’t think it would’ve been the same effect if I actually walked in May. We would’ve walked separately, It would’ve still been important, but not much of an exciting weekend.”
Courtney started a position at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery after receiving his degree in May. For Lauren, her dream is to teach EMT courses at her former community college, but says, “Wherever God leads me is where I’m going.”
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