Mother and Son Graduate High School Together: 'Being On Stage With My Mom Was Surreal'
A Washington mother and son duo made history when the pair walked across the stage together in their caps and gowns, both graduating with a high school diploma.
Enjoli Harris-Carter, 37, said she was only six credits away from graduating high school when she got pregnant with her first son, and lost focus of her studies.
"There was a lot of stuff going on at that time," Harris-Carter told InsideEdition.com. "When I found out i was expecting him, that was I don't know if you would say final straw, but it was what made pursuing my diploma pretty much null and void at that point."
She wrote in a statement that over the years, she had given birth to three more children, suffered through domestic violence and was diagnosed with PTSD.
So she put off finishing high school until her son, Elijah Harris was preparing to graduate from Renton Technical College, and inspired her to finish her last few credits at the high school, even though she had received a degree in accounting years before, and was offered the chance to pursue her GED instead.
"A lot of people along the journey at first doubted," Harris-Carter admitted. "Then I was starting to reach some of my goals academically, I saw a lot more support."
Then, she realized she was on track to graduate.
"During the process, you can see both of us growing when it comes to confidence, and being inspired when it comes to being with each other," Elijah told InsideEdition.com.
Even though Harris-Carter was hesitant to take the stage in a cap and gown, Elijah insisted they receive their diplomas together.
Not only that, but the mother and son were chosen to give a joint keynote speeches for their graduating class.
"It's definitely something special, being on stage with my mom, graduating the same time," Elijah said. "It was really surreal. Giving the speech together was like, oh my goodness."
Harris-Carter's portion of the speech spoke to believing in yourself, and working toward your goals, while her son's half discussed rejoicing in success and accomplishments, and refusing to settle for less than what you deserve.
"To know where I was at his age, and to see where he is at the age I was when I was expecting him," Elijah's proud mother said, "you can't ask for much more."
In the next chapter of his life, Elijah said he will be going onto community college, and dreams of a football career.