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Mother, daughter receive nursing pins together

Covington residents Angeline Rodriguez, right, and her daughter Ashley recently received their nursing pins, after completing the accelerated nursing program at Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus.

Covington residents Angeline Rodriguez, right, and her daughter Ashley recently received their nursing pins, after completing the accelerated nursing program at Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus.

COVINGTON -- When Angeline Rodriguez had her daughter Ashley, she never realized they would one day graduate from college together. But last month, they both received their nursing pins from Georgia Perimeter College on the same day.

"It was an accident -- it wasn't intentional," said Ashley. "We were doing on our thing."

But then, their worlds collided again.

A few years ago, Angeline and Ashley, Covington residents, both had the opportunity to return to school and decided to attend nearby Georgia Perimeter College's Newton Campus. Eventually, they were both accepted into the same accelerated nursing program.

"I always wanted to be a nurse, but I had my (three) kids young, and I had to raise them by myself," said Angeline.

When Ashley graduated from Newton High School in 2008, she had dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon, but she had a baby and decided instead she needed to pursue a career that wouldn't take as many years of schooling.

After taking a break from school upon high school graduation, she decided to pursue nursing, knowing she could continue more school later if she eventually wanted to become a doctor.

"She always watched (medical shows) on TV since she was about 9, and she's so intelligent," Angeline said about her daughter. "I struggled raising my three kids by myself, and I didn't want her to go through that with my grandson, so I kept on her. Now I won't have to worry about it -- the only way she can go is up."

Both had different feelings about starting in the nursing program -- Angeline was nervous and scared since she hadn't been to school in 25 years, and Ashley was embarrassed at times because her mother would act like her mother. Angeline said she was proud of Ashley succeeding in the class, even while she was struggling herself in some areas.

"I was so proud of her," Angeline said. "I know how hard it was -- I was there too, so I understood the struggles."

Both also juggled watching Ashley's son with the help of Angeline's own mother.

"We made it through, and here we are," Angeline said.

"I'm happy it's over because it was a lot of stress," Ashley added. "But it's not over yet."

The two plan to take their state nursing exam in July and look for jobs, both possibly in the labor and delivery field.