ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Maria Perez-Cordova and Andrea Cordova are paralegal graduates. Like college friends, they studied together, took the same classes, even walked across the stage together. But they're also mother and daughter.
Andrea's mother Maria began her education in 1990 but when life came, college had to wait.
"Then of course, mom, things happen, work, then I got married," said Maria. "Everything stayed on hold."
But when Andrea started college, the world became somber after her cousin Kristina took her life earlier this year.
"It's hard," said Andrea. "Losing your sister and constantly hearing it. I was crying everyday in class."
"We had to deal with that loss," said Maria. "My goal as a parent was to keep her focused."
Maria helped her daughter continue her education while taking a step out of the dark.
"After her passing, I literally got lost," said Andrea. "But I guess we have to get lost to find ourselves again."
As any mother would, she supported her daughter, but this time, by her side.
"I didn't realize she would get cerified and I would get my degree at the same time," said Maria. "I asked her, 'Do you really want your mom sitting in class with you?'"
Andrea nodded her head and smiled. "I was thinking, 'Totally!' I wanted my mom to finish and if I had to be there, I would definitely love that."
Both kept each other motivated and learned from each other. Eventually leading to them graduating from Odessa College. Andrea received a Paralegal Level 1 certificate and Maria received an Associates in Paralegal Studies.
"That was the best part, having my mom with me was the best part about college," said Andrea.
The same way her mother did, Andrea plans to continue her studies as a paralegal and get a degree like mother, like daughter.