Some SIU students graduated while raising a family - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Some SIU students graduated while raising a family

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CARBONDALE -- A class of graduates walked from the SIU Arena today, joining a large group of alumni; however, not all graduates are just full time students.

Graduate Melissa Talbert earned her Master's Degree in Food and Nutrition all while trying to keep up with her grandchildren.

"I went to just working part time here and there while I concentrated on my classes and then still trying to be involved with my kids and grandkids' sports activities," Talbert said.

Talbert said balancing everything was hard, but she's glad she did it.

"Well, I'm the first one in the family that's had a college degree in a while," she said, "so I hope it's inspiring my grandkids and maybe my kids to go back."

She said that completing her degree is a relief but it took a lot of sacrifices.

"I had to just learn to let go of some things that could wait until later," Talbert said.

But Melissa isn't the only one balancing a family and school. Benjamin Craig completed his doctorate in Philosophy with his son at his side.

"The only reason I think I'm able to accomplish much of anything is also because of those that are around me," Craig said.

He hopes this will show his son what can be done through hard work and support and hopes he can one day give his son that same support.

"I hope I can be as supportive as my family has through the process," he said. "Also, maybe I can be that support to him some day."

Nearly 2,200 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate students were expected to graduate from SIU this weekend.

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