FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A mother and her son are getting ready to graduate from Clovis Community college together.
Arva Parker is also the student commencement speaker at Friday's graduation ceremony. It definitely wasn't easy and she tried several times to go back to school.
She's embarked on the journey with her son to get a college degree.
Parker walks the hallways of Clovis Community College with her son, Robert.
"I'll be across campus and I'm trying not to yell at him across campus but I'm looking and when he catches my eye, 'Where are you supposed to be right now?' but he's always done what he's supposed to do," she said.
"I think it's very exciting," her son Robert said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing I think. The fact that we're accomplishing something great together moves it all forward."
Arva, 38, had her son when she was just 16 years old.
The surprise pregnancy put her college plans on hold. She married young and had two more children.
After two failed attempts two years ago, she realized it was finally time to make her dreams reality.
"I've had dreams about it years ago," Arva said. "I kept having dreams that I'm going to be in a cap and gown a cap and gown and I'm actually going to be in a cap and gown tomorrow."
Parker was also chosen to be this year's student commencement speaker and she hopes to bring her message of encouragement to students.
"I have something to say to not only our graduates to everyone about life about what is important about focus about being determined and perseverance," she said.
Parker works at the college's Student Services Department part-time to help pay for school.
Robert says it's been fun being able to go to her for help, and he's not surprised at all that she's on track to fulfilling her career dreams.
"I'm very proud of her because I know how hard she works," he said. "I know how late she stays up not just doing school work but being a mom and doing family stuff so it's not easy."
"I am a psychology major with a minor in business," Arva said. "The reason I went into psychology is I'm interested in understanding why people think the way they think."