Mother and daughter graduate together from the same university

Latonya Johnson and her daughter Laila Birchett celebrated their graduation from Rutgers School of Social Work

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024
MotherLatonya Johnson (left) and her daughter Laila Birchett, — People/LATONYA JOHNSON

A mother and daughter are enjoying a unique moment of graduating from college together. The mother expressed her joy, saying that graduating together has brought her closer to her daughter.

Over the weekend, Latonya Johnson, 43, and Laila Birchett, 21, celebrated their graduation from Rutgers School of Social Work.


Talking to WABC, Johnson, a divorced mother of six, revealed how she juggled her different responsibilities, including raising her kids, working full-time, and taking part-time classes at Rutgers University.

Birchett, then a student at Montclair State, suggested they go to school together, she said. They both started at Rutgers in September 2022.

“It’s kind of surreal but it has brought us closer because we connected on a level that I never thought I’d connect with my kids,” Johnson said.

As students at Rutgers, Birchett and Johnson had different goals. Birchett wanted to study a programme that would allow her to help others, like the homeless and elderly. Johnson, on the other hand, was a drug and alcohol counsellor who decided to leave her part-time job to focus on her education at Rutgers.

While studying at Rutgers, they had some classes together under the same teacher, but most of their classes were different. Despite this, they helped each other out, whether it was with computer technology or dealing with real-life situations. This information was reported by WABC.

"There were times when I struggled through school," Birchett said while talking to WABC. "But I always thought if my mom can do it, I can."

Dr Dewayne Battle of the Rutgers School of Social told WABC, "In some ways, Laila inspired her mom to finish school. Latonya has inspired Laila to be [an] independent person."