Mother and daughter graduate college together

Posted at 11:44 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 23:44:49-04

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (WCCO/CNN) - This Mother's Day was extra special for a twin cities mom and daughter.

Graduation at the University of Minnesota fell on Mother's Day this year.

A twist of fate led Sora and her mom, Kyle, to receive their diplomas on the very same day.

When Kyle Samejima graduated from high school years ago, she started taking college courses part-time, while working as a sous chef.

Then life happened as she got married and had three daughters, so both college and her career were put on hold.

“I call it my 25-year degree program," Kyle Samejima said.

Four years ago, Kyle decided to go back to school. She enrolled at the University of Minnesota to study sustainability issues.

It just so happened that her daughter Sora was enrolling as well, to study child psychology.

"She's basically a straight-A student so she worked really hard," Sora Samejima said.

Over the past four years, mother and daughter would become study buddies at home and they would get excited.

“Honestly, it was so special because I yelled "that's my daughter" and we ran towards each other down the street. It was really sweet,” Kyle Samejima said.

What'll be even sweeter, is that this Sunday, instead of flowers and cards, Kyle and Sora will receive college diplomas within minutes of each other.

A perfect Mother's Day, decades in the making.

“She made a lot of sacrifices. Put off school and raised us and gave us such a great childhood experience. I'm just so proud that she is finishing it now with me," Sora Samejima said.

Sora plans to go to grad school in the fall to get a master's degree in occupational therapy.

Kyle wants to go into advocacy, possibly working for a non-profit that focuses on environmental issues.

Kyle’s oldest daughter also graduates from nursing school this month, and Sora's younger sister, the baby of the family, graduates from high school.

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