Determination pays off for graduate

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Nearly three decades after her college career began, Edna Goodman finally got her degree.

&uot;When I first went to Norfolk State University in 1961,&uot; she said, &uot;I was majoring in home economics.&uot;


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After only a semester, however, she quit to take care of her ailing mother. Three years later, Goodman, a graduate of the Southampton County Training School and former East Suffolk high student, went back to NSU and completed another semester, this time focusing on nursing. But then she got married, left school again, and spent the next 26 years at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Still determined after retiring as a contract specialist in 1993, Goodman split her time between her parents and the University of Lynchburg, from which she received certificates in Christian

education and nursing.

&uot;I figured that since I was spending all this time getting these certificates, I may as well get my degree,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m the oldest of nine siblings, and I wanted to show them that if I could do it, they could do it.&uot;

She started attending classes at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, just on the other side of Emporia. Meanwhile, Edna’s granddaughter Latreisha was finishing up her own high school education at Lakeland. Early in her junior year, Latreisha had enrolled in the Pruden Vocational Technical Institute’s early education program.

&uot;I felt like I could make a difference in a child’s life,&uot; said Latreisha, who received her own early education at Mount Zion, Booker T. Washington and Kilby Shores elementary schools and Forest Glen Middle School.

&uot;My mom was a daycare teacher at From the Heart Church Ministries, and I wanted to try it.&uot;

Over the past few months, the pair took their final steps toward their respective degrees. &uot;We’d study together, and if I didn’t understand something, I could always ask her, because she’d already studied it,&uot; said Latreisha.

On May 10, Edna received a special Mother’s Day present – her Bachelor of Science in occupational management. She’d made the Dean’s List her last year.

Just under a month later, Latreisha got her own diplomas from Lakeland and Pruden. She’s already been accepted to Paul D. Camp Community College, and received two scholarships.