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Mother and Daughter to Graduate Together from Dallas College

Tiffany Gardner, a determined mother with two decades of managerial experience, is set to achieve a milestone she once thought impossible: earning her associate degree alongside her daughter, Angelika. Tiffany's journey, marked by perseverance and hard work, highlights the transformative power of education and determination.

Having faced adversity early in life, including her mother's debilitating car accident, Tiffany didn't have the opportunity to attend college or complete high school. However, her extensive work experience in managing payroll and compensation at a medical practice proved invaluable when she enrolled at Dallas College.

“I didn’t get to go to college. I didn’t even get to graduate high school. When I was a teen, my mom got into a horrible car wreck that left her disabled and unable to work. Our whole lives changed,” she said. “I had to grow up fast.”

Through the Dallas College Prior Assessment Program, Tiffany received recognition for her professional skills, accelerating her path to graduation. By leveraging prior learning assessment, students like Tiffany can save on tuition and fees while earning credit for their work experience, military service, and professional development.

By using prior learning assessment, students can save over $1,100 in tuition and fees and earn up to 15 credit hours in a single semester, according to Dallas College officials.

"For me, learning is a lifelong process," Tiffany shared, reflecting on her journey. "Dallas College confirmed what I'd already learned."

Tiffany’s hard work has rubbed off on her daughter, 20-year-old Angelika, who will receive her associate degree at the same time.

Both Tiffany and Angelika will be graduating with honors in Business Administration, Angelika by way of the Dallas College Promise program, and Tiffany through the Parent Promise program.

Their mutual story of drive and passion includes Tiffany and Angelika collaborating to pick out and complete their courses. “I love helping Angelika plan for her future. I believe in her, her abilities and what her future holds,” Tiffany said. Angelika watched her mother work full time and conquer school assignments. Angelika helped care for her teenage brother with autism while completing her own coursework.

The duo is scheduled to walk together during Dallas College's graduation ceremony on May 10 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, marking the culmination of their remarkable journey. Looking ahead, Angelika, who is a certified make-up artist,  plans to further her education in cosmetology and pursue her dream of opening her own spa.   Angelika has already found some success on social media as an influencer for makeup artistry and cosplay.

Her inspiration, of course, is her mother. “She is my life coach and my success coach. She’s always been my rock,” Angelika said.

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