Mother’s promise leads to whole family graduating

Locally Heavy Rain Potential
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 8:57 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Taking graduation photos is a wonderful tradition to commemorate a student’s hard work throughout their years of school. Normally, it’s just the student in the photos but one family has seen a father and mother graduate within six months of each other while their daughter is set to graduate this week. It all stemmed from a promise the mother made to continue her education.

Joe Grayson was the first to graduate back in December when he got his degree from SOWELA Technical Community College. Then, Lisa Grayson recently graduated from McNeese State University. And soon, their daughter Joelle will be graduating from LaGrange High School.

Lisa Grayson says she believes that you should always begin something with the end in mind, “When you start something remember that, at the end of the day, you want the outcome to be just as effective as you started.”

This is one of the habits to success that she lives by. But setting a goal and achieving it isn’t always easy when balancing work, owning a business, and raising a daughter all while dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane.

And while it may have been difficult, the three leaned on each other as it seemed like someone in the house was always studying.

Lisa says having that support was so important because it pushed them forward whenever one began to lose faith, ”Lots of late nights. We really, um, motivated each other. And it got to those darkest times where she went to a moment to where, ‘I just can’t do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Listen, push, if I can do it you can do it.’”

The inspiration for this push came from a promise Lisa made to her late mother to go back to school. It was that promise that started her on this journey and kept her putting one foot in front of the other until she finally graduated with a degree in psychology.

“I told her I was going to go back to college and I was going to do it,” recalled Lisa. “She really was...very influential in being a mom and being a caregiver.”

It was that promise that also helped influence her husband Joe to go back to school as well.

”Like the old saying, iron sharpens iron,” says Joe. “So, it motivated me to want to do more for myself and take myself in a better direction.”

And watching her parents push forward to continue their education moved Joelle as well as she finished her Senior year at LaGrange.

”It’s actually really really motivating,” says Joelle, “Like, seeing them go back and finish it and not leaving anything unfinished.”