Grandmother and granddaughter graduate together - with honors

Most grandparents dream of living long enough to see their grandchildren finish college, but one in Chicago was uniquely thrilled to follow in her granddaughter’s footsteps across the graduation stage.

Belinda Berry, 62, and her 25-year-old granddaughter Karea Berry both graduated from Chicago State University on Thursday—but they’ve been close for many years. Belinda received her degree in business administration and Karea's was in criminal justice.

Berry raised Karea in their Englewood apartment from the time she was just two years old and she always preached hard work and the value of higher education, FOX 32 Chicago reported.

"I hope I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it's never too late to pursue an education."

— Belinda Berry

"We didn't know we were going to finish together because I was full time and she was part time. And it actually just worked out that way. I just say it was God's will,” granddaughter Karea told FOX 32.


“It is as though family generations marching at the same time are becoming a kind of family tradition at Chicago State University,” Interim Chicago State University President Dr. Rachel W. Lindsey said in a statement. “I attribute these kinds of joyous family occurrences to the distinctive and essential nature of Chicago State which has long been a vital hub in the community.

"I am very honored to be a role model. And I hope I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it's never too late to pursue an education,” Belinda said.

This awesome duo’s story doesn't end here. Both plan to enroll in graduate programs next year.

"That education is the key to success. That's her motto of life," Karea said. "She just always said you have to persevere through all of your challenges and you will receive what you need to receive. And that's what's happening to us today."