13 Kids and One Diploma

Single mother of 13 finds time to study

She's a single, working mother of 13, and a valedictorian.

Tammy Slagle can celebrate with her two daughters who graduated from college this week.  That's because the 45-year-old mother graduated, too.

Slagle has been studying at Cuyamaca College for the past three years.  She has 13 kids, 8 adopted, and 5 of her own.  During those three years in school nine of the kids were still living at home.  She says when she told them she was going to start college, they didn't take her seriously.

"You're crazy.  I didn't know how she was going to do it," said daughter Courtney Slagle.

Why would a mother with so much other responsibility go to school. She said she tried years ago after she had her first three kids, but couldn't make the time. Three years ago, she had to make the time in order to take care of her family.

"I've been a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, and after I got divorced, I knew that I needed to do something," she says.

She finished with a 4.0 grade-point-average, and was chosen to be the valedictorian.

"She's really showing our family that you can do it," said her daughter.

Slagle says she's glad she's inspired her kids, and says she hopes her story will motivate others as well.

"You know what If you want to do it, just do it.  Do it afraid and the courage will come later."

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