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Mother, daughter inspired each other to earn Victoria College diplomas

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Reba Baker tried unsuccessfully to hold back her tears at Victoria College’s Commencement Ceremony on May 13.

First, Reba tried to contain her emotions when she saw her daughter, Dolores Baker, on the stage at the Victoria Fine Arts Center to receive her Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees. Then Reba had to try to hold it together when she followed Dolores on the stage for her own Associate of Science degree.

“I was trying not to cry,” Reba said after the ceremony. “Dolores was telling me, ‘Mom, don’t cry.’ ”

Reba, 37, had taken college classes off and on after graduating from Woodsboro High School in 1998. She put her college education on hold in March 1994 when she gave birth to Dolores, who was later diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

“She had me at a young age, and I got sick,” said Dolores, who graduated from Victoria West High School in 2012. “She’s been an amazing mother. She’s always been there.”

Reba decided to resume her college education after Dolores completed her first semester at Victoria College, and the two took several classes together at VC.

“We helped each other study,” said Dolores, who plans to obtain a criminal justice degree at the University of Houston-Victoria. “It was a neat experience.”

“She always made higher grades than me, but that was OK,” said Reba, who will study psychology at UHV.

The mother and daughter credited each other for completing their education at VC.

“It’s a blessing because I motivated her to go back and she stayed,” Dolores said. “She never gave up. She’s my inspiration.”

“This means a lot to me,” Reba said. “I had never given up on going back to school. She motivated me and inspired me to come back. It was well worth it.”

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