Mother and daughter graduate together

By Amber Stark ’99

Originally from Chicago, Diana and Olivia Paredes’ path to Bowling Green State University wasn’t straight or planned, but rather a “happy accident”.

Mother and daughter Diana and Olivia Paredes were both born in Chicago, but Diana’s husband’s career kept them moving, first to Wisconsin, then to Cincinnati and finally to Perrysburg, Ohio. Once here, Olivia attended Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo before going away for her freshman year of college. She wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to study, so she came back to northwest Ohio.

“I ended up transferring to BGSU to be closer to home,” she said. “I fell in love with BGSU. The professors were amazing and I loved the vibe on campus. BGSU was a happy accident.”

Before long, her mother joined her.

Both women graduated from Bowling Green State University May 6 with bachelor’s degrees in communication. Olivia had a Latino/a studies minor.

“I chose communications because of its versatility,” Olivia said. “Coming into college and deciding exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life is such a scary endeavor. I wanted something that would give me the tools necessary for the multiple fields I was interested in. Communications is the basic understanding for all professions. It does not matter how amazing an idea is if you cannot properly share it with the world.”

Diana chose communications for a different reason.

“Thirty years ago, when I first began college, my degree was in elementary education with a Spanish minor,” she said. “I tried several times, both in Wisconsin and Cincinnati, to inquire about finishing that degree, but no one would accept the credits. I came to BGSU, they looked over my credits and encouraged me to pursue communication.”

While here, Olivia was involved in the Latino Student Union and served as public relations chair on its executive board.

Not content with their bachelor’s degrees, both women are considering graduate school in the fall.

“I thought that I would go straight into the workforce after graduating, however, now that I have finished my bachelor’s, I find myself still wanting to further my education,” Olivia said.

Diana added: “When I first began, I really didn’t have any aspirations for beginning a career at my age, but I have had amazing professors who believe in me and I now feel that I would be a good asset for any company. I am considering graduate school next fall, or perhaps continuing working in nonprofit.”

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:21AM