Luzita Francis decided to go back to school later in life, and it was just in time to graduate from UNC Chapel Hill with her son, Luthfi Bustillos.
When Francis became a mother at an early age, she had to put her education on the backburner.
"I had my three kids and then I got divorced from their dad so I was like a single mom for eight, nine, ten years," she said.
She majored in public health, her son in information science, and now she's getting her diploma with him. The two took classes together at Durham Tech and transferred to UNC. Francis still worked a job all the while.
"Some of the students call me 'mom,' which I'm fine with," she said, laughing.
While Luzita always expected to go back to school, she never thought she would graduate at the same time as her son. He took college courses while in high school and caught up to her.
"At first I was like 'come on, let me graduate first,'" she said.
"I think she just wanted to one-up me," Luthfi joked.
They said it's brought the two of them closer in a time that could have otherwise shifted them apart.
"If I see he is in the lunch hall, I go. And if he sitting with a friend, you know, I go in and embarrass him," Luzita said. "That's a mother's job."
"Because I don't live with her right now, anymore, it was a good way to catch up," Luthfi shared.
"It was better than anything I could've ever dreamt of," Luzita said.
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