Mother, Daughter Celebrate Mother’s Day with Graduation

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationWhen Lupe Cotto was laid off at age 50 and decided to go back to college to retrain, she never imagined she would have a Mother’s Day like this one. Cotto graduated on Saturday from Daley College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago, only one day after her own daughter, Nicole, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University.

Cotto, a mother of three, knew she needed to gain new skills before she could re-enter the workforce after a devastating layoff from an administrative job she had held for nine years. “We are really happy having gone through this experience together, and we couldn’t have done it without each other,” says Cotto, mother and graduating member of the City Colleges of Chicago Class of 2012. “I was nervous about going to school at my age, but my daughter was there at every step to support me and we worked hard together to achieve our goals.”

Cotto was among the 3,300 students that graduated from City Colleges on Saturday, May 12th, an increase of 800 from 2011 and double the number of graduates a decade ago. The expected record number of graduates in 2012 is due in part to CCC’s Reinvention initiative, which places new emphasis on encouraging timely completion of a degree.

Cotto plans to attend one of three local universities where she will complete a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and, afterwards, she hopes to open her own business. Nicole received a Bachelor’s Degree in anthropology and has begun researching out-of-state institutions to continue her graduate studies in anthropology. “Graduation is a huge milestone for us,” says Nicole, 21. “We really are each other’s inspiration.”

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