NC Woman Graduates From Nursing Program Mother Created


A diploma hidden within a car trunk led to the remarkable discovery of a shared graduation date between a North Carolina mother and daughter, as the latter receiving her degree from the very nursing program the former helped established at St. Andrews University.

In a story by local news outlet WRAL, Dr. Dorothy Miller gave birth to daughter, Shaquita Brandy, as a teenager. However, her young motherhood was motivation to pursue her  education goals, going on to obtain not only a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, but also continuing in her studies all the way to a Doctoral degree.

Dr. Miller’s accomplishments led to her pioneering a nursing program at the North Carolina school. This past May, her daughter became the first graduate of the very legacy she built.

The strong mother came from a rural upbringing in Pinetops, North Carolina, where although resources were scarce, Miller was always encouraged by her mother to not let her upbringing determine her future. When Miller got pregnant at 15-years-old, her mother continued supporting her as she pursued these aspirations.

“Her goal for me was to not stop school,” she shared of her daughter’s grandmother. “I had my child on a Friday, and my mother made sure I was in school that next Monday.”

Even after pursuing a career in the military, Miller was aware of how education changed the trajectory of her life, and sought to empower other aspiring nursing students by creating that academic path at St. Andrews.

Nowadays, Miller is the department chair of health sciences at the university, and utilizing her multiple degrees in a bid for her home state’s Board of Nursing. Remembering her roots, she hopes to address the disparities regarding health care in rural towns like the one she grew up in, as well as keeping qualities nurses within these areas.

Being a living testimony to Black mothers’ strength and determination, no matter the age at which they start, is what drives Miller to accomplish any goal,

“What some people saw as a mistake, having a child so young, to me was a catalyst. I think that if I hadn’t been given the opportunity to have that child, I wouldn’t have accomplished what I did. By having her, it pushed me to do something outside of me so that I could have a better future for her.”

RELATED CONTENT: Black Mom, Daughter from Detroit Graduate Nursing College Together


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