MERIDIAN, Miss. - The family that graduates together, sticks together, and the Cole family of Meridian, Mississippi, is a shining example of this belief.
Commondre Cole, 45, his son, Ja’Coby, 25, and daughter Iesha Gully, 27, recently graduated together from Mississippi State University-Meridian with master’s degrees in education.
Commondre said he loves re-watching the video of the ceremony and him and his children walking across the stage to receive their diplomas.
"I love to go watch the video," he told FOX Television Stations. "I was first. Cole was second, and Iesha came in third behind us. That was a special moment."
Iesha said she was the first to pursue the degree in the fall of 2020. Her brother and father joined her in the spring of 2021.
"Well, my mom [Jessica], she’s really like the push behind all of us," Iesha told FOX Television Stations, saying her mother encouraged all of them to further their training.
Commondre is a health teacher at Northwest MIddle School. Ja’Coby is a physical education teacher at Oakland Heights Elementary and Iesha is a second-grade inclusion teacher.
"We were taking like some of the same classes," Iesha continued. "So we were studying together, trying to get ready for mid-terms and final exams..so it was a blessing at the end of the day."
The family often leaned on and encouraged one another to stay on top of their assignments, which led to a friendly competition among the trio.
"Family is everything," Ja’Coby said. "You always got to have someone watching your back, keep on you."
The family hopes they set the bar not only for their relatives to earn collegiate degrees but for other families as well.
"Strive big, and keep going," Commondre continued.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.