By Britni Danille, essence.com
Theresa Lyles, 68, has 15 grandchildren, but after crossing the stage to receive her bachelor’s degree alongside her 22-year-old granddaughter Zuri Lyles, the two now share a special bond.
Theresa enrolled in Tennessee State University back in 1967 but dropped out three years later to take care of her growing family. Nearly forty years later, her granddaughter followed in her footsteps to pursue her degree in health information management, but the road hasn’t been easy.
After Theresa returned to TSU a year ago, tragedy struck when her daughter, Zuri’s mom, suddenly passed away. The loss had a devastating effect on both women.
“That hit us so hard that I almost dropped out because I was struggling and my grandmother went through a depression,” Zuri said. “But we kept encouraging each other. Through it all, we started working harder and did everything we needed to get the job done.”