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The Heartwarming Story Behind This N.J. Mom’s Graduation

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Maritza Rivera

NEWARK — In the summer of 1993, Maritza Rivera was working a full-time job while raising two young sons and going to college part time.

A political science major, Rivera hoped to take a few classes each semester, earn a degree from Montclair State University and attend law school, she said. But that all changed when she found out she was pregnant. “Having a new baby takes a lot of time for a mom,” said Rivera, who stopped taking classes that summer. “I really didn’t think I was going to ever go back to school.”

On Wednesday, 23 years after she walked away from her dream of becoming a lawyer, Rivera donned a black cap and gown at Montclair State’s commencement ceremony after finally earning her degree in political science.

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