Father and daughter make history graduating together with honors - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Father and daughter make history graduating together with honors

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Graduations are special times for families, but this Saturday will be uniquely thrilling for one family making history.

A father and daughter are both graduating from Jackson State University with honors and the same grade point average.

"When we started on this journey, it wasn't intentional," said Abram Muhammad.

He and 21-year-old daughter Najla Muhammad are two days away from doing what no other father and daughter have done in JSU history.

Both are graduating from the W.E.B. DuBois-Maria Luisa Alvarez Harvey Honors College and both have a 3.8 GPA.

"When we realized that we were about to make history it was something words could not express the blessings and just the honor," said the elder Muhammad.

"I actually I didn't mind," said Najia. "I feel that I would be cool if we would go to college together and now that we're graduating together I think it's even better, and I hope that it will inspire other parents." 

They are both members of the National Honor Society and Golden Key Honor Society. 

The Florida native and former law enforcement officer served in the Marines and was forced to leave St. Leo College after being deployed to fight in the Gulf Wars.

Najla is a Jim Hill International Baccalaureate Program graduate who earned a presidential scholarship to attend Jackson State.

Both learned they could possibly receive their diplomas together in the fall.

Her father waited to take a class so they could share this experience.

"I see how he's able to go to college with all the things he's dealing with," said Najla. "I feel like it inspires me to not give up, do my work, try to do my best."

Being a non-traditional student, the minister and Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation with the City of Jackson is grateful to all the people who helped him fulfill his dream of completing college, from coworkers to parishioners and those on campus.

He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. 

"It's never too late. You never should give up and always, always strive hard," said the proud father. "So it's been a challenge but all of my professors here, the atmosphere has been encouraging".

The Communicative Disorders major was selected Student Marshal and will lead her classmates in the School of Public Health to their seats during commencement.

The duo will return to Jackson State to pursue their Master's Degrees in the fall. 

Najla plans to be a speech-language pathologist.

The 49-year-old wants to eventually teach his major, Criminal Justice. 

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