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Mom, daughter graduate together from University of North Texas: 'We got to do something truly special'

Kathy and Emma Earhart earned their bachelor’s degree together, which they say is just one checkpoint on their way to a doctorate.

DENTON, Texas — It was graduation weekend at the University of North Texas, and among the graduates were a mom and daughter from Denton. 

Kathy and Emma Earhart earned their bachelor’s degree together, which they say is just one checkpoint on their way to a doctorate.

“It was surreal,” Emma said. “It set in on Saturday that I’m getting my bachelor’s degree.”

“I think we got to do something truly special that not a lot of mom-daughters get to do,” Kathy added.

But their story is unique for many reasons, especially because Emma’s only 17 years old. She was supposed to graduate high school this year, but now she already has her high school diploma and her bachelor’s degree.

“I’m so proud of her that she did it, that she made it,” Kathy said. 

"She faced the hardness, and it was challenging," she continued. “We saw a lot of classmates change plans along the way, or stop the dream. We lost a lot of friends along the way. It’s hard. So I’m so proud that she did it and she finished it and she finished strong.”

Kathy and Emma plan to take some well-deserved time off before they take the next step in their academic journey.

“I’m going to take the summer off and take a nap,” Kathy said with a laugh. “Then in the fall I’m going to take MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) prep with Emma, and then we’re going to take the MCAT in January, and apply to a medical school and to a masters program to get our masters in Biology.”

It’s a story some may find inspirational.

“You just have got to keep going and pushing harder,” Emma said. ”And that’s it. Just keep going.”

“I was terrified doing it, but I’m glad I did it,” Kathy added. “I say dream big and go for it, you never know if you don’t try.”