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'Doing it together': Mother and daughter graduating from A&M Central Texas at the same time

Posted at 5:34 PM, Apr 04, 2024

COPPERAS COVE, Texas — Sylivia and Madeline Cabriales are about to graduate together with bachelor's degrees from Texas A&M Central Texas — a road that began with Madeline attending Early College High School at Central Texas College.

”It was a lot more difficult because I was taking both college classes and high school classes at the same time,” Madeline said.

This was a workload made easier with her mother tagging along.

”When she entered Early College High School, I entered,” Sylvia said.

“The reason I entered is because I didn’t want my kids to say, 'You didn’t go to college so why should I?'"

While working hard to keep up with her teenage daughter, Sylvia boarded a roller coaster of health challenges that began with a jolting pain in her side in 2020.

”They said, 'There’s nothing wrong with your right side, but you do have cancer,” Sylvia said.

“I was in shock and I just didn’t say anything — I didn’t react until I got home.”

She had a tumor on her kidney and had to have surgery to get it removed, but the health scares kept coming.

Fighting through it all might have led a lot of people to give up, but Sylvia didn’t.

”It’s an inspiration honestly,” Madeline said.

“I love my mom with all my heart.”

Now, four years later, they are graduating from A&M Central Texas together.

Thanks to alphabetical order, Madeline is walking first.

Despite her mom's best effort to even bribe her way onto the stage before her daughter.

”I was like, 'I'll bring you some rice and beans if that’s what you want',” Sylivia said to school officials.

”I was like, 'Don’t do that to me',” Madeline said.

25 News was able to get a statement from Madeline’s former teacher, Meghan Gilliam, who said in part,

“I had the privilege of witnessing her growth and determination firsthand, and I have no doubt that she will continue to inspire others with her success.”