Mother & Son Graduate Together With PhDs

by Yesha Callahan

Vickie McBride gave birth to her son, Maurice, at the age of 13. Even though whispers spread throughout her town of Waynesboro, Ga, with the help of her mother, Vicki continued her education.  She made it to college and graduate school all while raising Maurice and eventually 3 other children.  

“As a teenager I continued my education. That was never an option,” explained Vickie.

She made it to college and graduate school all while raising Maurice and eventually 3 other children.

“I had to figure out how to work and how to parent and how to manage school all at the same time.” she said.

Maurice had his own struggles growing up as well. At just 16 years old he dropped out of high school.

“[I] started hanging out with some of the wrong people and got into some trouble,” he explained. After having run ins with the law, he knew he had to do something with his life.

He said, “I picked up the bible and I started reading and I was like it all makes sense. I see how it actually comes to fruition. I see how I ended up here.”

He got his GED and then pursued a music career. He signed a record deal with Capital Records, but he never stopped his education. It was something that was instilled in him by his mother and grandmother.

“As a recording artist I also attended school online,” said Maurice.

He kept going after he left the music world. He went on to graduate school, becoming a professor at Paine College and then one day he called his mom.

“I said ‘hey I think I’m gonna get my PhD. You wanna do this with me?’ ‘No that’s okay. You bumped your head, but you can go ahead and you can do it. I’m done with school’,” he recalled.

This past August, the McBrides both received their PhDs from Capella University. Dr. Vickie McBride graduated with her PhD in K-12 Education and Dr. Maurice McBride in Organizational Management.

“I was so proud of him because I knew where he had come from,” said Vickie.

“This is who she really is despite what she’s been through,” said Maurice. “This is how I’ve always seen her and now I’m like ‘hey look this is her’ with the cape and the supermommy uniform.”

And they want their story to be a lesson to those struggling now.

“For those who have gone through [tough situations]. You can be successful. You can be anything. You can do anything once you make up your mind that that is what you want to do. Set a goal and go for it,” said Vickie.

The McBrides are both educators, Vickie teaches middle school and college in Virginia and Maurice is a professor of business at Paine College.

It looks as though Maurice has his eyes set on law school, but when he asked his mother to attend with him, she said she’ll have to sit that one out.


  • Jess

    simply amazing!! great story to start off the week!

  • geenababe

    Good for these two to rise above their struggles and received their PhD.

  • A Diva State of Mind

    Love this!!

  • MommieDearest

    Very inspiring story! It is possible to rise above your circumstance if you have a real desire to.

    Good for them.

  • march pisces

    feel good monday!!!! great start to the week….

  • Lady Ngo

    Thats awesome!

  • Kelley Johnson

    Two true role models.

  • HTown

    Capella is a diploma mill. I would be ashamed to tell someone I got a PhD (or any degree at that) from Capella.

  • naan

    great! i’m in my last year of college and the struggle is real! i had to quit my job to take up this task of completing school in May and at times i feel so stressed but i hope it all pays off!

  • Chris Chambers

    Amen. Heartwarming story on one level but places like that have been getting fat off black people and sucking federal loan money.

  • Lo

    It will, hang in there!

  • Brad

    If he is a professor at Paine College and now just earned his Phd. then he will have no problems staying on there as a full term professor. In fact he will be well on his way to earning tenure I am sure..

    Say what ever you will about some of these diploma mills. It has to be said that many times and with many companies just being able to check that box is more than good enough…

  • Wow

    HTown is correct. Most universities (research based) do not take online PhD’s seriously. Many people who do obtain these degrees do so for the title of Dr. but not really to continue any type of research afterwards, and they usually are already well established in their careers and simply want the additional distinction. But for those seriously look at getting a PhD to jump start their careers and are serious about research and academics I’d avoid online PhD programs especially if you’re going to take out student loans to pay for it. PhD programs are long (5 yrs tops) and difficult to get in to for a reason so if all you have to do is apply and pay an application fee then you should know that something isn’t right.

  • Teddy

    Thank you! I needed this one….

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