SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A mother, a grandmother and a son all graduating from high school on the same night. It was Taniya Marzetta’s New Year’s resolution and after 20 years, she finally made it happen.
“I cried and I wanted to leave, but I still did it,” the 36-year-old said while speaking to an auditorium of her fellow graduates.
Marzetta dropped out of high school when she was just 14 years old. She had four children, struggled with addiction and then spent two years in prison. But everything changed when she watched her daughter Michelle graduate last summer.
“Me seeing her walk the stage and go all the way through it, I told myself I had to,” she explained. “I never thought I would make it, but I did.”
Wednesday night, Marzetta shared the moment with her mother and son, who also got their diplomas from Washington Adult School. Marzetta went to Washington Unified School District last year to get copies of her transcripts and she brought her 58-year-old mother Yolanda Bryant along for the ride.
“She was like ‘Nah, I need too many credits,” Marzetta said.
Bryant never finished high school either, but Marzetta insisted she enroll too.
“Once I got going, I just felt like I was back at school again,” Bryant said. “I got through it with a lot of homework. Dressing up and showing up!”
But the family affair wasn’t complete without Marzetta’s son, 19-year-old Bryan Sarente.
“What she did in going back to school really motivated me and really pushed me through,
The football player was struggling at Sac High, and after the death of a friend graduating seemed unlikely.
“When she seen things wasn’t going so well, she stepped in there as a mom as she should and made things happen for me,”
Together they took classes and together they finished.
“There are no words that can express how proud I am of them,” said Angela Schubot, who taught English to all three.
But their big night is only the beginning. Marzetta plans to become a drug and alcohol counselor, Bryant plans to get her CNA license, and Sarente wants to play college football and eventually play in the NFL.
The family says their dreams wouldn’t have happened without a little faith and little push from mom.
Tonight marked the largest graduating class Washington Adult School has ever seen. Sarente is eager to start classes at Sac City College next week and says he doesn’t want to lose his momentum from high school.