FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Graduating from college was a family affair for a father and son in Broward.
On Tuesday 42-year old Stephen Pencle and his 21-year old son Joel, who attended Broward College together, walked together to receive their diplomas.
“It’s like my journey just ended and another one is about to begin,” said Stephen.
Stephen, who is from Jamaica, decided to go back to school after 17 years despite losing his job and going through a rough divorce.
Joel Pencle, who was motivated by his father, said he wanted to follow in his footsteps by finishing school – so why not do it together.
“It feels surreal. I didn’t feel like something like this would happen to me,” said Joel.
The elder Pencle received his Bachelors Degree in Technology Management. His son received an Associates Degree in Computer Science.
But the struggle was not easy.
“Joel was with me on campus for a little over two years combined and there were times I wanted to give up, he wanted to give up and I remember once I confided in him I don’t know if I can do this anymore and he told me ‘you can do this dad,'” said Stephen.
Stephen said back in Jamaica, he was going to college but when Joel was born, he stopped school to get a job. Two decades later, he finished what he started a long time ago.
“Don’t be embarrassed. It’s not too late to have family support you and go for your dreams,” said Stephen.
The journey is not over.
Joel will get his bachelors from Florida Atlantic University and work in software design. As for Stephen, he’s going on to get his masters in information technology.
“So what are the chances you too will work together,” asked CBS4’s Cynthia Demos.
“Oh it’s possible. I want him to make his own path,” said Stephen.