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She started college as a single mother at age 18. Now she has a diploma.

The Washington Post, Jan. 1, 2017

After the graduation and before the marriage ceremony, Emerita Ayala’s family gathered one recent afternoon at a Mexican restaurant in Northern Virginia for a lunch to celebrate her big day.

The 23-year-old, still in her green graduation gown, had just been awarded a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University. The daughter of Salvadoran immigrants in Fairfax County, Ayala was the first in her family to get a college diploma. She had overcome formidable obstacles: When she started, she was a single teenage mother. Read more>

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Signature Report 12 State Supplement