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FORTWORTH For 14 years,LaKresha Ashford's main role has been mom, but she's about to add another title to that resume.

That title is one she's worked towards for more than a decade.

In 2003, Ashford, a teen mom, was ready to graduate from O.D.WyattHigh School inFort Worth. It was an accomplishment, all things considered. At the time, she had a nearly 3-year-old child and was pregnant with her son.

'I already had my cap,' she said. 'I already had my gown, and then they told me I wasn't graduating.'

Turned out, she hadn't passed the one last test she needed to graduate the TAKS test.

'I ran down the hallway this is the truth crying,'Ashford said.

But, even as the years passed, and Ashford's brood grew from one to four, she never gave up.

'Every time they gave me the opportunity to go back and take that test, I went back and took that test,' she said.

A few months ago, she found out that in 2011 she actually passed the test and just didn't know.

'And I started to cry and I started to scream,' she said of the moment.

The Fort Worth Independent School District gave her the option to either just take her diploma or walk across the stage in Friday's summer school graduation. She said it was a no-brainer, she wanted to walk.

Several hundred people attended the summer graduation ceremony at Southwest High School. LaKresha shared the spotlight with 80 of her other colleagues, most of whom are younger than her.

In the moments leading up to her receiving her diploma, LaKresha admitted she was very nervous.

'I just grabbed my stomach, I was like, 'Oh my God, oh my God!' I just knew right then and there that that man was going to call my name,' Holland said.

Her children and family members sat in the first couple rows, making it the perfect spot to get a great view of LaKresha making that walk up to the stage. After all the pictures and hugs, Holland reflected about the struggles early on and how it was all worth it.

'I just feel like now the sky is the limit. I can do anything now,' she said. 'I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready.'

Now, 11 years later, she can finally call herself a graduate. She plans to start at Tarrant CountyCollege onMonday.

The example she's setting is clear to her kids.

'To never give up and to keep on trying and just to go for whatever you want,' said daughter Quoteysha, 14. 'You cant just give up on your dreams.'

'I hope this sets a huge example that anything, anything is possible,' Ashford said.

It's a lesson best learned from your mother.

Email lzakalik@wfaa.com

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