Atlantic Cape News

Amanda McCullough :

  • Amanda McCullough
  • amccullo@atlantic.edu
  • Atlantic Cape Community College
  • 5100 Black Horse Pike
  • Mays Landing, New Jersey, 08330
  • 609-343-4923

GRADUATION SUCCESS STORY: Egg Harbor Township Mother and Son Graduate Together

May 15, 2017

Veronica Blackwell, 49, and son Donte’ Blackwell, 23, both of Egg Harbor Township, will graduate together from Atlantic Cape Community College on May 18. Veronica is receiving her associate degree in human services and Donte’ is receiving his in general studies. Veronica plans to transfer to either Rutgers or Stockton Universities to obtain her bachelor’s degree in social work, and Donte’ plans to attend Rowan University to pursue his bachelor’s degree in recreation and sports management.

When asked what challenges Veronica faced during her time at Atlantic Cape, she replied, “My biggest challenge was being fearful of not being able to complete my college courses and graduate. I’ve been out of high school for 31 years and didn't receive my GED until March 2013. I’m in class with students that are younger than my 23-year-old son. I’ve never completed anything in my life­– whenever I felt challenged, I would always give up by throwing in the towel.”

“I overcame my challenges because I stopped saying what I can’t do and I started doing what I could do. I worked hard to make sure I got good grades, even when I had to stay up late and go to work with only having had three or four hours of sleep,” Veronica continued.

When asked how Donte’ has changed since attending Atlantic Cape, he said, “Atlantic Cape has made me more vocal, because in high school I wasn’t very talkative or outgoing. Atlantic Cape has brought me out of my shell.”

Veronica added, “Graduating from college means the world to me because there was a time when I was the one that my family thought wouldn’t amount to anything.” Veronica said, “I was a complete failure because I never followed through with anything that I started and of course their reasons were valid. Now I am very much ecstatic because my son Donte’ and I will be the very first members of our immediate family that have graduated from college.”