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We salute Deanna Jordan, a single mother of three who graduated from UCLA with three degrees on Friday!

“I needed for my sons to see there was a legacy that preceded them with college. I am the first in my family to go to college,” the 28-year-old mom told CBS News of her accomplishment. Before graduating with two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in African-American Studies, she spent two years at a local community college and three-and-a-half years at the University of California.

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The journey wasn’t easy. Jordan gave birth to three sons between the ages of 18 and 22. “I had him and in the hospital I remember thinking, ‘I’m 22, there’s no future unless I can create one,’” she shared. “You can’t really succeed unless you fail, and I failed a lot of times, but it was my persistence and my willingness never to give up.”

The Compton native also found a way to give back to her community. She founded the Compton Pipeline Taskforce, where she and UCLA volunteers work on academics at Compton schools. “I saw the difference in how my boys were in school in Brentwood and then how schools were in Compton where I came from,” she said.

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As for her future plans, the scholar said she plans to take a year off before heading to law school in hopes of becoming a district attorney.


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