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Three generations of women graduating this year celebrate in photo shoot


by: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

CHICAGO – As graduation season is among us, one photo of five women is going viral.

The Huffington Post reported that LaWanda Flennoy organized a special graduation photo shoot for herself, her three daughters and her granddaughter — three generations of women who all are graduating this year.

Flennoy and her family posed for the photos at Chicago photographer Darryl Hammond’s studio. The shoot was two hours.

Flennoy, who is graduating with an associate’s degree in psychology from South Suburban College in May, said the shoot was the idea of one of her children.

“It was the idea of my oldest daughter, Paris,” Flennoy told “Inside Edition.” “She wanted to have a family graduate shoot. Originally I hadn’t planned on being in the picture. They insisted that I be in it.”

Paris, 25, graduated from Chicago State University with a degree in public relations and will be working at Apple.

Flennoy’s second oldest daughter, Amari, 23, is a graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree industrial engineering and accepted a job at Ford Motor Company.

High school graduate Jade is attending Illinois State University with plans to study criminal justice. The family’s youngest grad, Brooklyn, is moving on form kindergarten.

The photo makes me feel proud, for a couple of reasons. First, that I have been a role model for these ladies and second, that they have set out and accomplished their goals,” Flennoy told HuffPost. “Graduating was not an easy task for any of us, as we’ve all had setbacks and feelings of uncertainty. But this year, we’ve conquered them all.”

Flennoy, a single mother, decided to return to school in 2010 after initially starting when she was younger, according to Inside Edition.

Hammond told HuffPo he hopes the photo inspires others.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for one person to graduate, let alone five total and three generations,” Hammond said. “I want parents to encourage their kids to stay in school, continue their education and never give up while doing the same thing. Everyone loved this photo; I want everyone to see this photo and say, ‘This photo is an inspiration; this is a beautiful family.’”

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