WATERVILLE, Maine — As graduations take place across the state this weekend and with Mother's Day just around the corner, emotions are running high for many families.
One family, however, is celebrating both occasions in a unique and sentimental way.
Claudia Migliaccio attended Thomas College for her undergraduate degree and decided to continue on to get her Master of Business Administration, all while inspiring someone else along the way.
Her mother also graduated this weekend with her MBA from Thomas College in the Class of 2023.
"I am so proud of my mom," Claudia said.
Claudia also spoke about how her mom is her role model and has inspired her in many aspects of life.
While Claudia was living in Maine pursuing her undergraduate degree, her mother was 2,000 miles away in Arizona.
"It's really been such a great bonding experience," Giulia Migliaccio, Claudia's mother, said. "When she was an undergrad in Maine, and I was all the way in Arizona, it felt like it had been such a long time since we'd seen each other when previously we were together all the time."
Once Claudia returned to Arizona, they both were able to pursue their master's degrees together online, becoming what one might call "study buddies."
"They could support each other and bounce ideas off each other," Donald Craen, their professor at Thomas College, said. "I didn't even know they were mother and daughter until today, basically."
"This is really something I will never forget," Claudia said. "Me and my mom are doing this together."
But it's not just their degrees and Mother's Day that they're celebrating this weekend.
"Claudia was my first Mother's Day gift," Giulia said.
To make the day even more special, it's also Claudia's 22nd birthday.
No better support than your mother standing by your side, walking the stage with you.
"I am so proud of you," Giulia said. "I think you're going to go so far in your career. I love you."
This heartwarming story shows the power of family bonds and how pursuing education together can strengthen those bonds even more.