Local Woman Is the First of 21 Children to Earn a Degree

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Sallie Smith has a cheering section at her graduation. She's the youngest of 21 brothers and sisters, and is the only one to receive her bachelor's degree.

"First of all, I feel blessed, and it was an honor to be here. It was a struggle, but I did it, and with all the support of my friends and family has really helped," said Sallie Smith.

Smith said she would never have gotten her degree in Professional Administration if it wasn't for her family's support.

"I am so proud of her right now. She has really made a big accomplishment," said Pennie Hawkins, sister of Smith.

Smith's 92-year-old mother sat in the audience as her youngest daughter gave words of encouragement to her graduating class.

"Very good, proud that I can be here today, glad I could come," said Pennie Thompson, Smith's mother.

Many of her siblings attended the celebration and said Smith is an inspiration, especially to her children.

"I am happy for her, and maybe it will help me get back into college, so I can get my degree," said Devondrick Jones, Smith's son.

Smith said after having children, she realized how important it was to continue her education.

"It was difficult because I didn't have the technique of studying and good study habits," said Smith.

Now she walks away with plenty of techniques for a future full of endless opportunities.

Smith said she wants to open up a facility for abused women and families in Tallahassee.