High School Senior Waits To Open College Acceptance Letter At Mom’s Grave


January 11, 2021

Yep, we’re crying!

A high school senior waited to open her Duke University acceptance letter at her late mother’s gravesite, WRAL reports.


Skylar Hughes was 11 years old when her mother, Rasheda Hughes, suffered a brain aneurysm, falling into a coma and passing away the next year. Now, the Georgia teen spends time with her mother routinely at her gravesite, talking to her about life. When she got her college acceptance letter, it was no different. The email from Duke arrived December 18th, but Skylar waited 16 hours to open it the next afternoon just so her mother could be a part of the experience. 

“She was such a vibrant woman, and I get a lot of my qualities from her. She’s definitely my biggest inspiration. I probably go there once every week or once every two weeks. I bring lunch out there, and I just like catch her up to my life because I know she would want to be involved,” Skylar told reporters.

Photo Courtesy of Skylar Hughes


The teen and her father joined together at the gravesite in a now-viral video, everyone on edge about the acceptance letter since Duke boasts a mere 7% acceptance rate.


“I was trying to be realistic with myself, so I didn’t have too much of a heartbreak. Before I opened it, me and my dad and my mom, we just all prayed. I felt like my nerves were heightened because I felt like she was nervous with me. I was nervous to open it, but I wasn’t really nervous to let her down because I knew she would be proud of me regardless,” said Skylar.

 The teen opened the email and was immediately overcome with emotion, she and her dad embracing and the both of them tearing up at the celebratory news. “When I clicked the button and saw the blue streamers, I was like, hold on, did I just get in? It was the best feeling in the world. I was so proud of myself. All my hard work and sacrifices paid off, and it just made me really happy,” Skylar said. 

 Joining the 2025 class at Duke University, Skylar plans to study marine biology and hopes to host a Black culture symposium at the school. But first, she’s focused on financial aid, applying for around 50 to 75 scholarships in preparation. There is also a GoFundMe set up to assist Skylar with college tuition, already raising more than $40,000 of the $180,000 goal. Without adequate funding, Skylar, unfortunately, may have to pass on her dream school.


“It’s my No.1 school, so I’m just staying positive, and I’m going to hopefully get scholarships,” Skylar said, remaining hopeful of the outcome.

To support Skylar’s academic pursuits, click here.

Congratulations! We know your mom is very proud!


Photo Courtesy of Laniece Blackmon/YouTube

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