Melanie DeLaHamaide and her son, Daniel Gerwin II, of Fremont, both walked across the Terra State Community College stage last month after earning their degrees. While Gerwin was on an advanced track, taking Terra State college courses while at Fremont Ross High School, DeLaHamaide had returned to school to pursue a degree.
DeLaHamaide had graduated from Fremont Ross High School and enrolled at the old Providence College in Sandusky. After five months, she decided to withdraw to focus on working to raise her family. Gerwin will graduate from Fremont Ross High School in June, and will transfer his college credits and attend Bowling Green State University to study nursing.
Gerwin said he enjoyed the challenge and variation of taking college and high school classes at the same time. Being able to go through college together with his mother has increased that proud feeling tenfold for both mother and son.
“I’m so very proud of Daniel and, although I am the parent, I’ve learned more from him and his siblings than I could ever teach them,” she said.
“I’m proud of her for graduating,” said Gerwin. “I know she’s been looking forward to this and she’s always looking to grow in something. So, to see her be able to graduate and for us to be able to graduate together, that’s amazing.”
Mom has always been interested in furthering her education.
“I really like school and I’ve always enjoyed learning and growing. Life took turns that I wasn’t planning and I wanted to prove to my kids that you can do anything you put your mind to,” she said.
Because of her interest in learning and because there was little room to grow at her previous job, DeLaHamaide decided to try college again and attain a degree. Terra State was a perfect choice for her because it is local and affordable.
“I’m a single mom, I had to keep working and I needed my support system, my family who lives in the area, to do it,” DeLaHamaide said.
Gerwin thought it was “pretty cool” having his mom taking college classes at the same time as he did. They even took some of the same online classes, which allowed them to study together on occasion.
“This is truly a big blessing to be able to do this with my mom,” Gerwin said. “It’s really exciting that she was able to get that second chance, for a mom especially, to go back to school and follow her dreams.”
DeLaHamaide is the billing specialist at Mosser Construction.
“Just a few months ago, the job I’m at now just kind of fell in my lap,” she said. “Mosser is a company I feel like I can grow in and I’m a lot happier there. Going to school has helped me build my confidence, which I really needed.”
DeLaHamaide will now help her son move in at BGSU, get her ninth grade son prepared for Terra State’s CCP Program and taking care of the rest of her kids. Her son has kept busy volunteering at church and working at the YMCA.
One piece of advice Melanie wants to leave students is: “Never give up on your dreams. No matter the obstacles or sacrifices, with a little self-confidence, and when you have a support system—no matter how big or small, goals can be met!”