Sometimes the examples we set for our children by our actions mean more than any words or lectures we could ever offer them. This is exactly what Anshonarial Greenhouse had in mind when she walked across the stage to pick up her hard-earned diploma from the State University of Alexandria—all while in active labor.
“It was rough walking across that stage,” Greenhouse shared with USA Today, but even the pain of contractions wasn’t about to stop her from savoring the moment when she’d finally hold her degree in business administration in her hand.
Greenhouse explained that she wanted her 10-year-old daughter, Makhia, to have a real, tangible idea of just how huge the reward is when you set your sights on a goal, work hard, overcome every challenge, and persevere to the end.
“She understands how important education is,” Greenhouse said of her daughter. “If she sees me doing my work, she does hers. It’s showing her versus telling her.”
USA Today also revealed that Greenhouse’s pregnancy hasn’t been an easy one, and severely preterm labor had the Marksville, Louisiana, native spending much of her last semester in the hospital receiving treatment to halt labor.
With the help of technology via YouTube and Zoom, Greenhouse was able to complete many of her speeches and assignments virtually while in the hospital.
“I knew it was a possibility I couldn’t walk (at graduation), but I really pushed to be able to go,” she explained. Still, Greenhouse committed to walking the stage along with the other members of her tight-knit class. “In accounting there are only like 10 students,” she added. “I wanted to be there with them.”
That day wasn’t just monumental for Greenhouse and her daughter; her mother, Elaine Young, was also walking the stage that day after having graduated from the same accounting program.
With an emergency plan in place and the cooperation of university staff and emergency medical staff—not to mention the help of the college’s baseball coach in physically walking across the stage—Greenhouse was able to don her cap and gown enjoy the fruit of her hard work at the graduation ceremony.
“I tried to believe I could do anything if I could be bold enough,” Greenhouse said of her determination not just to graduate, but to walk the stage. “I just tried to be a boss (and make it happen).”
Not long afterward, she gave birth to a precious little boy, whom she named Zaire. What a blessing for him and his big sister to have such an inspiring mom!