Speed Reads

major milestones

College student who delivered baby before graduation surprised with ceremony at hospital

Jada Sayles received two special deliveries over the weekend.

On Friday evening, Sayles went into labor, and she gave birth to her son on Saturday — the same day she was supposed to graduate from Dillard University in New Orleans. "I was scheduled to get induced Saturday at 5 p.m.," she told WDSU. "So after graduation, I was planning on heading to the hospital."

Dr. Walter Kimbrough, the university's president, didn't want Sayles to miss out on the celebration, and went to the hospital to confer her degree. Sayles wore her cap and gown, and her family — including newborn Easton — witnessed the mini-ceremony. She ended her college career with a 4.0 GPA, and "was so proud of myself and I wanted to celebrate such a big accomplishment," Sayles said.

She earned her bachelor's degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in pre-law, and her goal is to attend law school. Sayles told WDSU she wants other college students to know that even when it seems like the odds are against them, they can finish school. "You can do it with a kid," she said. "You can do it without a kid. You can do it pregnant. You can do it not pregnant. You can do it."