Dozens of graduates walked the stage to celebrate earning their degrees this Saturday but one student also shared the experience with a special four-legged friend.
Students from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi took to the stage to honor their academic successes but today those students weren't the only ones walking to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance.
"I couldn't do it without Skittles, so she's the one that's really pushed me and helped me get better, she's just my world now," described Taylor Dearman, a TAMUCC graduate.
She's talking of course about her four-legged best friend and service dog, Skittles. They met almost four years earlier when Dearman moved to Georgia after suffering from anxiety, depression and seizures while attending class at a previous university. Ever since, Skittles has been by Dearman's side in class.
"It kind of, ya know, really pushed me to become an educator because every day I got to educate someone about having a dog," Dearman explained. Others had commented "'You're not disabled, you aren't in a wheelchair.' and (she) said, 'Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean there's (not) something that could be wrong.'"
Skittles was also by Dearman's side throughout her student teaching courses at Oak Park Elementary. Dearman said she hopes to share her experience with others as an educator.
"My students, they get to learn about her every single day. And I'm teaching, and I'm doing what I love and I get to inspire our future, which is amazing," Dearman added.
Now that she's graduated, Dearman plans to pursue a job as a fifth-grade reading teacher at a local elementary.