DONALDSONVILLE, LA (WAFB) - It's one of those proud parent moments: watching your child walk across the stage, diploma in hand. It's the end of one journey and the beginning of another. But as WAFB's Rick Portier learned, not all lessons come from books.
Nakisha and LeJuane Collins have every right to be excited. What their daughter, Brittany, accomplished is pretty remarkable.
"Until kindergarten, first grade, we couldn't understand anything she was saying. It was like gibberish," said Nakisha.
It took a couple of years with a speech coach, but they finally got Brittany speaking English, but that created another problem. "She was pretty bad," said Nakisha.
"She was a big problem. I would go, I actually had to go and sit in the classroom every day to make sure she acted right in the classroom," said Nakisha. "They even suggested that she try special ed."
Brittany was special alright. Her grades were always at the top of her class, and by 4th grade, Brittany learned to sit still in class. That brings us to graduation, but not this one.
Brittany graduated co-valedictorian from Donaldsonville High School this week with a 4.656 average and more than half a million dollars in scholarship offers.
"It was unbelievable. After I received all those scholarships, I kept waiting to see if it was a mistake," said Brittany.
Through her entire high school career, Brittany was also enrolled in River Parishes Community College as part of Ascension Parish's dual-enrollment program. When she graduated high school, she had earned 68 college credits. She says it really wasn't that hard.
"The only thing I had to compare it to were the classes I took at Harvard," said Brittany.
Last summer, that used to be disruptive young girl studied neuroscience at Harvard, which brings us to this graduation, where Brittany walked across the stage with an associate's degree in general studies on her way to a pre-med degree.
"I learned that I was capable of so much more than I thought I was," said Brittany.
And that's a lesson we could all learn, from a little girl that only spoke gibberish.