Loida Guillen Strong couldn’t be prouder of her mom Mercedes, who has always put her family first.
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Mercedes knew she wanted to become a doctor early on. But when her father died, she had to make a difficult choice: stay in school or take care of her siblings. She chose the latter.
As an adult, Mercedes put her dream aside once again to raise Loida and her brother. Their family eventually moved to the U.S., where Mercedes wasted no opportunity to emphasize the importance of a good education. She may have had to leave school, but she wanted more for her kids.
Thanks to her mom’s influence and encouragement, Loida grew up to become a nurse. After working in the health care field for 10 years, she decided it was her turn to make her mom proud!
While she knew Mercedes would have been thrilled to hear she was pursuing a doctoral degree, Loida decided to keep it a secret — for nearly three years!
Finally, on August 1, the time came to reveal the wonderful surprise.
Mercedes’ husband drove her to the University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing, where she walked inside and saw Loida standing in a cap and gown. Clearly, she had no idea what her daughter had been up to!
Overcome with emotion, the incredible mom fell to her knees. It was a dream come true — for Loida and herself!
“She told me it was like she got it herself … like I completed her dream for her,” Mercedes said later. “I wanted her to know that her sacrifice was not in vain.”
Congratulations, Loida and Mercedes! You’ve both worked so hard to make this dream come true!
We can’t think of a better way for this bright young woman to pay tribute to everything her mom has done for her. What a beautiful moment!
Keep some tissues handy as you watch the emotional surprise in the video below, and share this story to congratulate them.
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