Conn. (WTNH) — A Connecticut mother and daughter had the chance to celebrate their triumphs together this holiday season.

Shannon Freda, 40, of Danbury, and her daughter, 22-year-old Courtney Miles, graduated from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) on November 19.

Freda, a mother of five, said that it was amazing to be able to walk the stage with her oldest daughter, something “not many parents can do.”

“Walking the stage with my mom is just surreal,” Miles echoed. “I don’t know anyone else who’s been able to say they can do this.”

Freda had worked in human resources for 15 years, and due to her passion in the field, she decided to enroll with SNHU to both advance her income and skill level with a bachelor’s degree.

Miles, who dabbled in previous colleges but didn’t fully enjoy the experience, took inspiration from her mother and enrolled with SNHU to earn a psychology degree. After a few years in the program, she decided to pursue a similar path as her mom with a career in HR.

Freda & Miles | Photo courtesy SNHU

Freda said she hoped to show her kids that “through persistence and hard work, you can achieve anything.”

“There have been so many obstacles between full-time work, school, raising them — there are so many obstacles along the way,” Freda said. “I want them to see that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and you’re dedicated.”

The duo received their diplomas during the fall commencement ceremonies. Their higher education doesn’t stop there, however, as they both plan to pursue master’s degrees at SNHU.