Nashville, Tenn. (WZTV) — Higher education will be a family affair at Tennessee State University this semester where a family has enrolled together.
Tajuana Dixon-Nations says that when she graduated high school 27 years ago, she decided to press pause on a higher education so that she could raise a family. When she made the decision, she had no idea she’d be going back to school with her children.
Tajuana will be attending TSU with her youngest son, Gelon, her daughter Chantrise and middle child Gregory.
Gelon will be a freshman studying psychology while his older sister Chanrise will be returning to school as a business major. Gregory will be transferring from Middle Tennessee State University to be with his family while he continues to study business.
“I am hoping to change the dynamics for my family, to ensure a good future for all of us,” said Tajuana Dixon-Nations, who is majoring in business. “This was a decision we made when my youngest son talked about taking a year off after high school. I said, ‘That’s not going to happen; Gelon needs to be in school.’ So, all of us decided to rally around him.”
The family is excited to work together towards an education. The youngest, Gelon, said he was surprised but excited by the news that his family, including his mother, would attend with him. "I didn't even know she was coming. It was surprising, but I was excited, because we might be bale to help each other. I am glad my sister and brother are also here."
The happiness is contagious. "Being the oldest," said Chantrise, "I wanted my little brothers to make more out of themselves. I had to get them down here." She shared that she was excited to attend alongside her mom. "Our mother has been there for us. She put her life on hold for us and I am just so happy not to just see her in school, but right by our side. I also need to set an example for my own children.”
The whole family is receiving financial aid. TSU President Glenda Glover helped Tajuana and her children secure financial aid. Gregory and Chantrise are going to benefit from special incentives to transfer and offers to returning students. “It is exciting when an entire family wants to attend Tennessee State University,” said President Glover, who met the mother and her children when they worked with admissions and financial aid counselors in Kean Hall. “We are glad that financial aid was available to make it possible to get their balances paid so they all can come and finish their degree. We are excited about this."
Tajuana will be taking most of her classes online so that she can continue to work at her job and stay close to her husband, Gregory Nations, Sr.