Lezley McSpadden never got to graduate high school. Two decades ago, she dropped out of Ladue Horton Watkins High School during her junior year so that she could raise her son, Michael Brown. After Brown was shot by Darren Wilson in 2014, McSpadden casually told Jennings School District Superintendent Art McCoy she’d never graduated. “What better way for you to honor your son than by obtaining your high school diploma?,” McCoy told CBS. Brown had just graduated from high school before he was killed.
Fast forward a few months, and McSpadden is the first graduate from the school’s adult high school program. To make things even better, her daughter, Mike’s sister Deja, graduated the very same day.
“I know it’s something that she’s wanted to do,” Deja told The American. “She’s done it and she’s worked really hard, and she’s so excited and I’m excited for her!”
Deja initially left school following her family’s trauma because it was difficult for her to focus on class. She is now set to attend Tennessee State University in the fall to take up neonatal nursing with a variety of people looking to help her pay tuition.