By Jill Gosche
Rachael Bulger (left) and Robin Bulger
FREMONT - An Attica resident says she never has been able to do anything without her mom, and her mom always has encouraged her to do everything she possibly can.
Rachael Bulger, 22, and her mother, Robin Bulger, 48, completed degrees in management and participated in Terra State Community College's graduation ceremony Friday evening. Rachael said going through school with her mother was "fantastic."
"My mom has always been my best friend first, my mom second," she said.
Rachael has lived by the saying, "What matters most is how you see yourself," and her mother says, "You know what to do. Prove it."
Prior to commencement, she said it was an honor to be graduating with her mother, and she realized people don't do that.
"She's my everything," she said.
Robin said she initially enrolled at Terra in 1991 with the intention of doing secretarial work. But because her husband, a police officer, had taken a job in Put in Bay, she was unable to finish her degree. She obtained a certificate in information processing instead. Being a mother comes first, she said.
"You just never go back and get (a degree)," she said.
Robin said it wasn't until Rachael started classes at Terra that she started thinking about school again. Rachael was exhausted because she was struggling with classes and was trying to work midnight shift in Willard and drive to Terra for school, she said.
Because Robin was laid off from a job, she was able to drive her daughter to school. Robin enrolled at Terra with the help of grant money available from being laid off.
"There were times where we were sitting in the same class, side by side," she said.
Robin said her daughter is having a wonderful year. She got engaged in December, is to get married in September and is starting a new job in Findlay.
"(I) love her dearly," she said.
Lt. Col. Thomas Hoffert, a Fremont resident, delivered the keynote speech during Terras's 43rd annual commencement Friday. Hoffert, who retired from the U.S. Army, said graduates are prepared to take their place in society.
"You still have far to go," he said.
Sherry Peterson, who completed an office administration degree, was the student speaker. She encouraged graduates to volunteer, engage one another and collaborate and said people have a responsibility to make an impact.
"People will do exactly what you let them do," she said.