An Empowered Mother Graduates With Her 10-Day-Old Baby Tucked in Her Graduation Gown
A 24-year-old mother, Grace Szymchack, defied expectations as she proudly walked across the stage to receive her college diploma. She held an unexpected but cherished guest in her graduation gown — a 10-day-old baby girl named Annabelle.
Originally planning to graduate from Ferris State University on December 15 followed by a scheduled C-section the following Monday, Grace Szymchack’s plans took an unexpected turn when Annabelle arrived early on December 6. Undeterred by the surprise, Szymchack remained determined to celebrate her academic achievement with her peers.
“I’d worked hard for this degree, and I was determined to walk with the rest of my class...so I just brought her to graduation with me,” shared Szymchack.
Szymchack, who earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, exemplified resilience and dedication as she balanced the demands of classes, parenting, and work alongside her husband, Caleb. Over the last 6 years, she has navigated the challenges with an unwavering commitment to achieve her educational goals.
“I kind of hope it inspires another mom to go back to school and show that she can do it too,” expressed Szymchack.
Currently working in a Strong Beginnings program, the young woman engages with preschoolers, expressing her passion for positively impacting their lives. Despite the hurdles, Szymchack’s story is an inspiring testament to the possibilities of balancing motherhood and academic pursuits.