Single mom graduates at top of VSU class

Updated: May. 31, 2019 at 5:00 AM EDT
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Petersburg, VA. (WWBT) - Tiffany Tucker is a first-generation Virginia State University graduate who’s more than just a face in the crowd.

“Nine times out of 10 if you mention my name they’re going to know who Tiffany Tucker is,” said Tucker. “I was going to be a name and not a number because you can go to college and just be a number.”

But if Tucker was a number, she would likely be number one because she said she’s never settled for just good enough.

“My goal was to achieve a 4.0 GPA,” said Tucker.

Tucker’s dream became a reality on Sunday, when she walked across the stage at the top of VSU’s 2019 graduating class with a perfect GPA.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management, with a concentration in human resources.

Tucker said this goal is even more gratifying because she achieved this goal as a single parent.

“I graduated high school in 2003 so when I started my journey I had been out of school for 11 years,” said Tucker.

Tucker said she had no intention of pursuing college after graduating high school early at 17 years old.

“The goal was just to get a good job and make some money,” said Tucker. “I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be free. I had no desire to go to college at all.”

Tucker said she worked several jobs, including being an auditor at a bank.

However, with the birth of her son at 21 and the loss of her auditing job seven years later, Tucker decided to pursue something different.

“When you have a child you’re no longer responsible for yourself,” said Tucker. “It took me a little time, but I felt like I had to do something different, I wanted to go to another level I wanted to provide a solid foundation for my son.”

Tucker decided she would pursue a college degree after witnessing her god-sister, who was single parent of three, graduate from VSU.

“She was a single mother of three boys and I remember sitting at her graduation and saying ‘I’m going go to college, I’m going to do this and I’m going to give it my all,’” said Tucker.

Tucker said she made many sacrifices just to maintain her livelihood.

“Everyday is school, school, school then I have my son, he’s in school, he has his school work, and then I’m working," said Tucker. “I was pretty much living off my student loans.”

Tucker was also active in several organizations in the university, including carrying presidency positions with Business Professions of America, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and a member of the dean student advisory board.

Tucker said she was able to make it through the hard work by using her son as motivation.

“He was my motivation to go after things that I didn’t imagine doing,” said Tucker. “My son created that desire, but then it added to the desire for myself to do it.”

Tucker said the satisfaction of earning a degree and walking across the stage to hug her son made all of her sacrifices worth it.

“When you set the bar high it causes you to work harder,” said Tucker. “When you have the right mindset and the goals to go with the mindset, the world is yours.”

Tucker said she plans on pursuing her doctorate in business management. In 2018, Tucker said she was accepted into ‘The PhD Project’ which helps minorities to pursue their PhD straight from a doctorate.

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