Hutchinson mom, son celebrate high school and college graduations

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – A Hutchinson family is celebrating not one, but two graduations this week.

“It’s a good feeling when you, the odds have been against you from the start, but you never let that get you down, you just keep going,” said Amanda Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, 32, was just 15 years old when she gave birth to her son David.

“It was scary. I admit, I’m not really scared of anything and that was pretty much a turning point for me,” Gonzalez said.

The then 7th grader dropped out of school. Despite, Gonzalez’s family and friends pressuring her to give her baby away, Gonzalez refused.

“They gave me a (adoption) paper, and I said no,” she said.

From that moment on, Gonzalez said she and her boyfriend were on their own. Fast forward to now and nearly 18 years later, the married mom of six is now a college graduate. She received her diploma from Hutchinson Community College on Saturday.

“It felt good. It felt like I was accomplishing something,” Gonzalez said.

If Gonzalez’s college graduation wasn’t enough to smile about, her son David is expected to graduate from high school this weekend.

“To have it the same year is something special,” said David.

David, 17, said it’s special for a number of reasons, but most of all he said it’s proof that he and his mom can do anything, especially when they do it together.

“It made me feel really proud of her because she accomplished something that she said she was going to do awhile back,” David said.

“Don’t give up. Do not give up. There are people that care and sometimes it’s the person you least expect, but they do, they are there waiting, don’t give up,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez and her boyfriend married shortly after having David. She now works at Tyson Foods in Hutchinson. David said he plans to take classes at Hutchinson Community College next year.

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