Powerhouse duo: Mother, son graduate from UBC together
A mother and son have a lot to celebrate this week after graduating from the University of British Columbia just one day apart.
The powerhouse duo arrived to the beat of the drum and applause of family and friends at a special ceremony for indigenous students at UBC’s First Nations Longhouse held Saturday.
“My heart is deeply filled with joy, there’s no other way to describe it,” said Jocelyne Robinson, who now holds a PhD in education.
“I’m happy to be here with my mom,” added 31-year-old Randy Robinson, who graduated with a law degree from the Peter A. Allard School of Law.
Jocelyn is a sculptor and single mother who raised seven children in East Vancouver, while Randy once worked as a janitor scrubbing toilets.
“That was really difficult because of our economic status, but we seem to be overcoming that,” said Jocelyne, noting her children helped with all her university projects.
“I wish I could say it was magic but it was a little more than that. A little bit of magic but a lot of support from each other, and really good communication.”
Both mother and son are Algonquin from the Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec, and plan to use their degrees to help improve the lives of other indigenous peoples.
“We've always been encouraged to pursue our dreams and goals and in my case it’s always been advocacy in some sort of way,” said Randy.
“This has been such an excellent experience for me, and to have accomplished it with my mother by my side just makes it that much more special.”
All seven of Jocelyne’s children are now post-secondary school graduates.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Jonathan Glasgow and The Canadian Press