Four family members to graduate Central Texas College on Friday


One Central Texas College graduate will complete her degree along with three of her children on Friday, a moment she dubbed her “proud parent moment.”
Michelle Madrid-Dery of Copperas Cove will walk the Cadence Bank Center stage in Belton along with daughter Jessica, and sons Victor and Joshua.
“It’s overwhelming, actually, for me,” said Madrid-Dery, who began her degree in 1992. “It’s a proud parent moment for my kids… they put their minds to it and they went for it.”
While all four Family in graduation gownswill have newly minted degrees from Central Texas College, they will take different paths.
Son Joshua Dery, 23, will be continuing to study social sciences at Texas A&M - Central Texas, focusing in either history or psychology. Son Victor Dery, 27, completed his associate’s in general studies and is looking at his next steps.
Daughter Jessica Dery, 28, will graduate with honors with her associate’s in nursing. She’ll also go on to Texas A&M - Central Texas, to pursue her bachelor’s in nursing.
It was a path that Madrid-Dery planned to go herself when she started college more than 30 years ago.
“I was planning on going into nursing in 1992 and I started but I never made it all the way through,” she said. “I decided to have children instead.”
One of her five - her youngest - asked her one day if she ever graduated college. 
“At the dinner table, everybody looked at me, and my daughter said, ‘I thought you always say you better finish what you start?’” said Madrid-Dery. “I ended up going back to school to prove to her that I could actually do it.”
“And now, I can’t believe I actually did it,” she added. 
Daughter Jessica said no one in the family expected that they would complete at the same time. 
“The joke is they were always trying to steal my thunder,” Jessica said. “Really, I'm super proud of them and I’m super excited to graduate together.”
Currently an LVN, Jessica said she feels well-prepared for the next step in her education. “CTC is not an easy program. I did a lot of hard work on that.” 
She said her mom’s perseverance kept her moving forward.  “Her going back and the dedication in getting her degree is inspiring to me…I’m really proud of her for that. I’m really proud of all of them for working as hard as they did. I know it wasn’t always easy.”
Madrid-Dery said it was all worth it.
“Do something for yourself,” she said. “Even if it's one class at a time. You have the time.”

Above: The Dery family (Victor, Michelle, Jessica and Joshua) celebrated their graduation from Central Texas College.