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Mother, Vietnamese – American, graduates from university at 52

06:00 | 13/05/2020

Chantal VanKlompenberg, a Vietnamese – American, has graduated from Arizona State University, at the age of 52.    

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Chantal VanKlompenberg

Monday is graduation day for student at Arizona State University. Unfortunately, students do not get to walk because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Despite its unusual ceremony, the event was attended by a very unique graduate. She is Chantal VanKlompenberg, 52, a Vietnamese – American, the last of six siblings to graduate.

"I'm trying not to be emotional because I'm on live video,” she told 12 news. “I've been looking forward to this day for a long time."

Growing up just miles from ASU's Tempe campus, it was always her parents' dream for their kids to attend the university.

But that dream was put on hold for VanKlompenberg when she started a family following high school with her husband.

"Being the oldest and the last one to graduate from a college for my parents -- who have never been to school, the highest level that they've gone was third grade -- and that I completed this full circle," VanKlompenberg said.

VanKlompenberg's Bachelor's degree is from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication with a certificate on leadership and ethics.

“I want to be the voice for students, for adults returning back to school,” she said. “I guess I want to work at a higher education institution.”

VanKlompenberg now has four kids of her own, two are ASU graduates and two are ASU students.

"It's my turn. My time. On my terms," VanKlompenberg explained.

Instead of a graduation party, VanKlompenberg organized a fundraiser to support the homeless community.

She hopes to be able to reschedule when things go back to normal.

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