ALEXANDRIA, La. — A mom who wanted to stress to her daughter that education is important received her diploma at her college graduation while in labor.
Anshonarial Greenhouse, 31, said contractions weren’t going to stop her from being at Louisiana State University of Alexandria’s fall commencement ceremony Dec. 13 in her cap and gown.
“It was rough walking across that stage,” she said, but she wanted her 10-year-old daughter, Makhia, to be able to see the reward at the end of all the work.
“She understands how important education is,” Greenhouse said. “If she sees me doing my work, she does hers. It’s showing her versus telling her.”
► Nov. 2: Single mom of 5 passes bar exam after law school grad photos go viral
► Oct. 14: Now a lawyer, single mom Harvard grad’s next hurdle is mom guilt
► May 31: Single mom’s inspiring post about graduating from Harvard Law goes viral
She had a little help from the head baseball coach, who was directing graduates as they walked, and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting.
Then she headed to a hospital in Alexandria, a city of about 50,000 almost 175 miles northwest of New Orleans.
It wasn’t a new scene for her. The Marksville, Louisiana, native spent a lot of her final semester in the hospital because she began having contractions at 25 weeks, too early to give birth. She had received medicine to stop the early contractions.
“I knew it was a possibility I couldn’t walk (at graduation), but I really pushed to be able to go,” she said. Marksville is about 30 miles southeast of the Alexandria campus.
She wanted to be with her fellow accounting grads, a small and close-knit group.
“In accounting there are only like 10 students,” she said. “I wanted to be there with them.”
One of those students was Greenhouse’s own mother, Elaine Young, also graduating that day in accounting.
Greenhouse had been careful about her condition, making sure beforehand that university staff and ambulance workers were aware of the situation and ready for any problems, she said.
She gave birth Saturday — a little before her January due date and the day before her own birthday — to a healthy baby boy, whom she named Zaire.
► June 2017: She was once a homeless single mother. She just graduated college.
► May 2017: Days after daughter’s death, mom accepts degree on her behalf
While in the hospital this past semester, Greenhouse did some of her speeches and assignments virtually thanks to YouTube and Zoom. And her mother brought her other work to complete.
“In college, I tried to believe I could do anything if I could be bold enough,” she said. “I just tried to be a boss (and make it happen).”
Follow Leigh Guidry on Twitter: @LeighGGuidry