Mother and son celebrate the same college graduation dateJuly 13, 2023

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Angelique Davis (left) and Isaiah Ramirez (right)

When Angelique Davis started taking classes at Midland College in the fall of 1995 right after graduating from Coleman High School, she did not plan on it being 27 years before she would finally receive an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice!

“I had my first son Michael when I was 17, so I graduated from high school as a single mom,” Davis said.  “I wanted to be like all my peers and go to college after graduating high school.  I enrolled at Midland College.  I was working part-time and going to school full-time along with caring for my toddler. Then, I became pregnant with my second son Steven.  I was young, had two small boys and not enough time in the day.  So, I had to quit school.  I felt defeated.”

By the time she was 23, Davis’ third son Isaiah was born.  In 2007, she started what would become a successful career working as a sales rep.

“Even though I had a good job, I still wanted to complete my degree, but just couldn’t find the time.” she said. 

The opportunity to continue her higher education pursuits came with the COVID pandemic in 2020.

“I was working from home and my children were grown,” Davis explained.  “I really had no excuse for not going back to school.  One day I decided to visit with a Midland College advisor to see if my credits from the 1990s were still valid.  After talking with my advisor, I realized that it wasn’t really all that complicated.  My advisor told me that all my previous credits would count; they had not gone anywhere—they were still there.  So, I started taking classes again.  The funny thing is that Isaiah was also taking courses at Midland College at the same time.”

Davis’ youngest son Isaiah Ramirez actually started his college career while still in high school as a student in the Midland College/Midland ISD College & Careers Academy taking dual credit Emergency Medical Services courses.  

“That’s when I discovered that I had a passion for helping people,” Ramirez said.  “After high school graduation, I went through the Fire Academy, started working for the Midland Fire Department and continued pursuing a degree in Emergency Medical Services.

“I remember being so proud of my mom when she decided to start back to school.  I admired her motivation, and it rubbed off on me.”

Davis said that unlike when she was first at Midland College in the late 1990s, this time she was able to take advantage of mostly online courses.  

“Online courses were great for me,” Davis said.  “It would have been difficult for me to attend face-to-face classes while working fulltime.”

Ramirez also took advantage of online courses, except for his EMT/Paramedic hands-on skills classes. 

“Firemen have crazy shifts,” he explained.  “We work 48 hours on and then 96 hours off, so that means that every six days we have a different schedule.  It’s hard to schedule face-to-face classes.  Online classes require a lot of self-discipline, but they are great for people like me who have jobs where the hours aren’t 8:00 to 5:00.”

They were never enrolled in the same class, but Davis and Ramirez continued to give each other encouragement while attending Midland College as part-time students.  It wasn’t until fall of 2022 that the mother and son duo realized they would graduate at the same time.  In May 2023 they both “walked the stage” during the Midland College Commencement Ceremony at the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center!

When asked what advice they had for people who may be in similar situations, Davis said she would tell students in their 30s, 40s and beyond not to be afraid of the enrollment and application process.  

“I was terrified when I made that first visit with my advisor,” she said.  “However, the enrollment and advising staff navigated me through the whole process.”

Ramirez said his advice would be to find good people who share the same interests.

“When I started taking those first EMT classes in high school, I was at a time in life when a lot of young men start to go down the wrong path,” he said.  “Taking classes that I liked and making friends with people who were in the same classes and had the same interests helped keep me out of trouble and gave me a career goal.”

Davis is continuing with her sales rep job, and this fall, she will begin pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security and Cybercrime from Sul Ross State University.  Ramirez is also continuing his job with the Midland Fire Department and is now a firefighter/paramedic working out of Station 2 on the corner of Florida and Terrell streets in Midland.  In the fall, he will begin taking courses toward a bachelor’s degree in Health & Science from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  Both Davis and Ramirez said that they will be able to once again take advantage of online classes.

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