Mother, Daughter Begin College Journey Together at Westmoreland

Mother, Daughter Begin College Journey Together at Westmoreland

Allison and Kendra Lester outside the Student Achievement Center, Youngwood Campus

Mother, Daughter Begin College Journey Together at Westmoreland

September 22, 2021 Youngwood, Pa.

A Greensburg-area mother and daughter have both begun their college journey - at Westmoreland County Community College.

Allison and Kendra Lester are each in their first semester. Allison, 39, is majoring in Healthcare Management. Her 19-year-old daughter Kendra is studying Radiology Technology.

“I’ve always looked up to her as my mom, but here we’re equals,” Kendra said.

After nearly 20 years as a stay-at-home mom, Allison decided to return to the classroom.

“I’m in classes with kids I’m old enough to parent,” she said. “But they don’t pay any mind to it.”

Allison considered coming to college back in 2019 and she even came to Westmoreland to talk about her options. She didn’t follow through out of fear.

“If somebody would have encouraged me, I feel like I would have done it sooner,” Allison said. “But nobody in my family had been to college.”

“I pulled myself together and I think it gave my mom inspiration,” Kendra said.

She’s referring to a rough start last fall. Due to the pandemic, all of Kendra’s classes were online and it wasn’t the right format for her. She dropped out but decided to start over when in-person classes became available.

“If I wasn’t here to push her, I think she would have waited even longer,” 

As first-generation college students, both Kendra and Allison are participating in the ACT 101 program and both agree the semester is going well.

“I am so proud of her,” Kendra said about her mother. “I’m so happy because I think she needed to do something for herself.”