NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Friday evening Trident Technical College graduates shared their stories of triumph on graduation day at the North Charleston Coliseum. Many students persevered to get their degree even though it might have seemed like the odds were against them. They're encouraging others to do the same.
Jaclynn Woods dropped out of high school three months before graduation. Her goal was to have a family, not a diploma but things changed later in life.
"On the night each one of my children was born I made them a promise to be a better version of myself, to be the best that I can be and I wanted to make them proud," Woods said.
She has three children and she along with her husband earned their GEDs. On Friday, Jaclynn and her husband walked across the stage to receive their college degree.
"Our son he's the middle child, and he is 8," Woods said. "He is like I am going to cry I am so proud of you."
Jaclynn along with Antwan Gadsden were chosen as the student speakers for the commencement ceremony.
For Antwan, his mom's life changing car accident led him to put his studies on hold at Trident. He had just graduated from bible college. He took care of her and worked full-time with the new family business. Four years later he became a working student at Trident while raising his young daughter.
"The next goal is to be an inspirational speaker so this is a step toward that goal," Gadsden said.
Another graduate, Dynasty Greene has four children ranging from two months to 5-years-old. She says prayer helped her through the tough nights.
"I'd be up till three o-clock in the morning with a baby in one hand and doing my work with the other hand," Greene said.
She has joy in knowing she made it to the big stage and others can too.
It's not about the situation it's about the strength you have deep down inside," Greene said. "I'm glad to be able to see a day I never thought I would see."