Teen Prays At Mother's Gravesite — Shortly Thereafter She Opens College Acceptance Letter And Says 'I Knew She Would Be Proud of Me'

Jan 13, 2021 by apost team

One evening in December of last year, Loganville, Ga. resident Skylar Hughes received an email she had been waiting for anxiously: a status update for her application to her dream college, Duke University. Skylar Hughes had lost her mother Rasheda Hughes back in 2016, but the student wanted to make sure that she could share the moment of her college acceptance with her mother somehow.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video

Waiting for important emails can be a very harrowing experience that many of us have gone through at least once in our lives. We see many of those college admission reaction videos on YouTube, and the hopeful students are usually accompanied by loved ones like their parents, siblings, and friends as they open up what often determines the next chapter of their lives. After all, going to college is a huge milestone. Being in the presence of loved ones as you check the results can be very meaningful. If the results are good, they will celebrate with you — there may be screams, cheering, and even crying. And if the results are disappointing, our loved ones are there to comfort you and show their support. Either way, the moments leading up to the event often provoke a lot of nail-biting.

On Dec. 18, 2020, one high school senior from Loganville, Ga. received an email regarding her application to her dream school. Hughes got the status update that would tell her whether or not she got accepted to Duke University. Hughes is an exceptional student. According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Hughes maintained a 4.1 grade-point average at Grayson High School while juggling not one but two part-time jobs as well as an internship at the Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary in Lilburn, Ga.

But that is not all. Hughes also has a heart for community service and actively volunteers with the DoSomething Club, a non-profit organization, which “facilitates community-wide initiatives regarding mental health awareness” and tackles racial justice issues.


With such a jam-packed schedule, it is needless to say that Hughes has no trouble winding down and getting to sleep when the day is over. Usually, anyway. But on the night that she found out she had received a notice online regarding the status of her application to Duke University, Hughes found herself pacing back and forth, tossing and turning in her bed, all because she was feeling anxious about what the status would read.

“I work two jobs, so when I came home from my second job it was like 2 a.m. and usually I fall straight asleep because I’m so tired, but that night I may have gotten three hours sleep,” Hughes told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “When I finally did fall asleep I had a dream about being accepted or being rejected.” Despite the results being ready, Hughes did not want to open it immediately.

She wanted to wait until the next morning to find out the answer, because she wanted to share the news with her late mother, Rasheda Hughes, by going to the cemetery where her body is laid to rest and finding out the application results there.

“[The notice] came out at 7 p.m. on Friday [Dec. 18, 2020] and when it first came out I was very nervous,” the 17-year-old student said. The teen had been dreaming of attending Duke for a long time. “I have Duke posters in my room and Duke memorabilia, and I’ve toured the campus, so it’s my dream school."

Together with her father, James Hughes, Skylar Hughes set out to Gwinnett Memorial Cemetery to see the much-anticipated result in the presence of her late mother.

“I was very nervous when I opened it, and I knew I wanted to open it with my mom at my mom’s grave,” Skylar Hughes explained. “But at 7 p.m. it was pitch-black outside, so I decided to wait until the next morning, and we got up early and drove down there and even then it took me another 10 minutes to click the button because I was so nervous.”

They had a camera recording in front of them to film their reactions to finding out what the result said. “I am at my mommy’s grave to open up my status update from Duke,” Skylar Hughes says to the camera. “Because I want her to be a part of it and I am freaking out.” She turns to her dad and remarks that Duke University has a 7 percent acceptance rate. After a few moments, she gets on her computer to click to open the status.

And it is wonderful news: Skylar Hughes gets in! Overwhelmed by the good news, the father and daughter duo start crying together on the grass. "Mommy, I got in," Skylar Hughes is heard saying. The scene is incredibly moving. Skylar Hughes said that it was a dream come true for her. “I knew my mother wasn’t going to see me in my wedding dress and she wasn’t going to see me at homecoming or when I graduated eighth grade,” she said. “She couldn’t come to my [ballet] performances or anything like that. It was really nice to be able to share a moment with her there.”

The very next day, Skylar Hughes' cousin, Laniece Blackmon, posted her and her dad’s reaction video to YouTube where it has now been well-circulated. Blackmon and her sister have also helped set up a GoFundMe page for their younger cousin to help finance her tuition fees. “We decided we wanted to start a GoFundMe and we talked to our uncle James for his blessing and he said go right ahead,” Blackmon said. “We never imagined anyone would reach out. We just figured, ‘Hey, let’s go for it.’”

Skylar Hughes had plans to apply for nearly two dozen scholarships to pay for tuition, which costs about $80,000 a year — but in the first three days of the GoFundMe campaign, they raised more than $18,000 from about 2,000 donors. At the time of writing this article, more than $46,500 has been donated by nearly 3,000 donors.

“I’m so appreciative of that,” Skylar Hughes said. She plans to minor in public policy or environmental studies and policy. “I looked at videos and there were so many nice comments that I was overwhelmed. People were so kind and positive and supportive. I don’t have the vocabulary to express how grateful I am.”

If Skylar Hughes' story moved you, be sure to pass it along to your loved ones so that they, too, can see the touching video. And let us know: Do you remember when you, your children, or one of your relatives were accepted to college?

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