Mom and son realize a dream together: Graduating college

Kim Thornhill and her son Dexter Thomas graduated from college together at Union Institute & University’s national commencement ceremony held on October 12, 2013 at the Hall of Mirrors in the Hilton Netherland Plaza.

Kim, a single mother of two, never envisioned that she would earn her bachelor’s degree alongside her son. Her focus on education and family is evident. “I always told my children that education was important. I also wanted to be a role model for my children. That’s why I returned to college to get my diploma,” said Kim, who earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice Management. “I am living proof that it is never too late to graduate.”

Kim is a recipient of the university’s Women in Union scholarship, which supports single, head-of-household mothers in their efforts to earn a college degree and make a better life for themselves and their families. She plans to continue her education, attend law school, and specialize in juvenile law.

“My mom is my role model, she is the strongest person I know. I am so proud of her. She was strict growing up, but also encouraging. She always made me believe I could do anything I wanted to,” said Dexter, who received his B.S. in Business Management. Dexter plans to become an entrepreneur and eventually own a chain of barber shops.

Union Institute & University selected Kim to deliver the invocation at the commencement ceremony. Kim and Dexter joined seventy-two other graduates at the ceremony, 31 faculty, five members of the Alumni Association, and more than 400 guests. Students and their friends and family traveled from all regions of the country to attend the event, which is one of several held around the country each year, including Florida, California, and Vermont. Union Institute & University graduates about 700 students per year.

Read more about Kim and Dexter’s unique and inspiring story, from here Watch their news story from WCPO TV channel 9 here.