Paula Singer: Setting the path for future generations also reminds me of my very favorite photo. The graduate in this photo is someone from several years ago. Probably about a six or seven years ago, Dr. Darnita Payden. And she was the first in her family to earn a graduate degree. Her family—all 975 of them it looks like— were so excited about her achievement that they filled an entire bus and drove from Washington, D.C., to Indiana in the heat of summer to attend her commencement ceremony. Nobody should ever think that a degree doesn’t matter!
Now, I don't claim to know her whole story, but this is what I see when I look at this picture. Please look at it carefully. In the center, I see a grandmother who probably never ever dreamed of going on to college. I see a mother who may not have dreamed for herself but certainly aspired for her daughter. I see a daughter who has achieved those dreams and has set a high bar for her two nieces on the far end of the picture, you see them? There’s two; there's a little, little one and like an 8-year-old. OK? Now those two girls, boy, they got expectations set for them. And I see two young girls who will grow up with the expectation that higher education is in their grasp. What a change a few generations make; powerful, positive, social change.
I love that family, love that family.