Gaby Hernandez thought college wasn’t possible for her. She immigrated to the United States at 17, and though she graduated from high school in Bridgeport, Washington, her path led to motherhood and family life.

As her three kids grew, she and her husband encouraged their oldest child, daughter Sinai Espinoza Hernandez, to consider college. To that end, the family visited a community college. Something clicked, Gaby said. Her kids were older and she had been thinking about getting a job outside the home. Instead, she wondered, “maybe there’s something of college for me?”

Both mother and daughter found what they needed at Washington State University, with transfer options and online education. The result: They graduated together in the commencement ceremony in Spokane on May 5.

Gaby, a registered nurse, received her bachelor of science in nursing. Sinai graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science.

Both credit each other and their family for helping them reach their goals.

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