Local mom returns to school 30 years later for diploma

By Beau Ebenezer

May 17, 2014 Updated May 17, 2014 at 9:39 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- An Illinois Central College graduate completed a special journey to a long-awaited diploma.

Lori Jones, 47, completed her degree after putting it off for 30 years to raise her six children.

Jones's son, Jacob Mundy, graduated with her, but he missed the ceremony due to illness.

Jones said Jacob encouraged her to attend graduation anyway.

She said he was with her in spirit.

"He already texted me at 5:30 this morning and asked if I was walking," said Jones. "He wanted to make sure. Standing here now, it is overwhelming for me almost. It's a great feeling. I actually did it."

"If she is anything like Jacob, they are unstoppable, and they can do anything," said Jacob's peer, Trace Davis. "Jacob is an awesome guy, and I know his mom raised him. I'm sure she has got to be that way too."

Jones will continue her job with the Hawk Insurance Agency.

She was one of the 1,000 graduates at ICC this semester.