Three family members – Shamir Taylor, who is 35-years old, his 37-year old wife, Nyema Taylor, and his 62-year old father, Raymond Richardson – have all recently graduated from the same college on the same day.
That day was the culmination of their 30 long years of working to get their degrees while battling different challenges. Shamir Taylor managed to continue his studies in between military deployments. His father, combat vet and retired US Army Master Sergeant Raymond Richardson, is the oldest of them but it didn’t stop him from achieving his dream.
“For me, it’s been a really long journey,” Richardson told WUSA9. “I’ve been at it over 30 years. Trying to get my degree. But from one college to the next, UMUC was my final stop.”
Meanwhile, Nyema was diagnosed with breast cancer and she had to get through it while in college. She graduated with a degree in graphic communication, which she hopes could help her with her clothing business.
“When I found out the news about my breast cancer, it really knocked me off my feet,” Nyema said. “I felt defeated and deflated. And it was my husband and my family and my father in law….” who helped her get through it.
The three adjusted their course works to arrive at the day when they all graduate from the University of Maryland, University College on the same day.
“It’s one thing to be graduating and walking down the aisle,” she said. “But to be walking with two of the most important people in my life, it’s amazing. Amazing!”
They were hoping they serve an inspiration to everyone, especially the Taylors’ two children.
“They’re like sponges right now,” Nyema said of her two children. “They look up to us. We want to do everything we can do to make sure their future is secure.”
“It just goes to show you,” Richardson said. “You’re never too late to get an education.