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By Tristan 

Daughter should get credit for mom’s graduation

 

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On Saturday, Montana State University-Northern's graduating Class of 2010 walked to receive certificates and diplomas representing years of dedication and hard work. For the last four years, the city of Havre has housed an incredible woman who did not hear her name called out on Saturday, though she has given four years of hard work toward earning a bachelor's degree. Alex Cataudella is only 13 years old. At the age of 7, her father gave his life to his country in Iraq. Alex has helped her mother do everything from basic chores to caring for her younger brothers for the last 6 1/2 years. Four years ago, her mother decided to return to college and attain the dreams that her parents had shared. Alex stayed up countless nights to help her mother study for tests, midterms and finals. Alex always told her mother to keep going. There were times when Alex's mother wanted to give up, thinking it was too much pressure and added stress on her family, and Alex was there to tell her that Cataudellas don't give up and that the family would be OK. She believed in her mother and the value of education for their family even when her mother momentarily lost sight of the bigger picture. Ms. Cataudella continued to receive good grades in school and be an amazing friend to her peers despite the added responsibilities she had at home. Through her challenging life experiences, she developed a level of empathy in her 13 years that most adults never obtain. I am Alex's mother, and I want Havre to know what an asset Alex is to this community. She is the most amazing woman I have ever met in my 32 years. Alex inspires me, impresses me and amazes me. On Saturday, I received my bachelor's degree after all these years. Next to having my three children, it was the proudest moment of my life. I wish my daughter would have walked with me. I could not have graduated without her, and half of the honor belongs to her. I think the community needs to recognize those who made graduation possible, not just those who graduate. Saturday, MSUN honored me. Sunday, I gratefully honored my daughter, Alex Rachel Cataudella. Naomi Cataudella Havre

 
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