Briana Williams, a 24-year-old single mom who just graduated Harvard Law school, has mastered the art of multitasking.
Last year, she finished a final exam while she was in labor. After her daughter, Evelyn, was born during her final year of law school, she learned to breastfeed with one arm while writing a paper with the other.
Last week her hard work paid off when she walked across the graduation stage with her daughter in her arms wearing matching caps and gowns. The Los Angeles native opened up about her experience in an Instagram post that has since gone viral.
“To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement,” she writes. “Evelyn- they said that because of you I wouldn’t be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU."
Williams, who now has more than 20,000 followers, said she was never a fan of social media because it often portrays a misleadingly glamorous life. But she wanted to use her graduation as a chance to share her story.
“I don’t really write captions. I don’t put my voice out there,” she said. “Upon graduating I wanted to show people myself. I didn’t know how receptive people would be towards it. I’m just thankful that people were.”
Williams said she’s always dreamt of being a lawyer and that Harvard was her top choice for law school. But the journey became even more difficult when she became a single mom, and she acknowledged in her post that there were times when she didn’t think she could do it.
“I did not think that, at 24 years old, as a single mom, I would be able to get through one of the most intellectually rigorous and challenging positions of my life,” she wrote on Instagram. “It was hard. It hurt.”
Almost immediately after giving birth, Williams had to figure out how to balance parenting, work and academics. She started working her summer job just three and a half weeks after Evelyn was born on April 22, 2017.
She said she would often schedule doctor’s appointments on her lunch breaks.
“I didn’t tell anyone that I had a baby,” she said. “I never missed any activity because I didn’t want anyone to think that me having a baby was holding me back.”
The new grad is now studying for the bar exam and already has a job lined up in the litigation department of a big firm in Los Angeles.
To any other parents in a position like hers, she offered this advice: “Try as hard as you can to do what you have to do...Eventually you’re going to receive the glory from that. And not only that, your child is going to be even more appreciative of you and the sacrifices you made.”