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Dallas College Is at the Heart of This Father-Son Moment

One pound, nine ounces.

That’s how much Joshua Kidd weighed when he and his twin sister were born prematurely at 28 weeks.

“The doctors said that he would never live,” said Joshua’s father, Ken Kidd. “Yet, if he did live, they said that he would never have a working brain cell.”

Well, Joshua has not only lived but thrived. He has more than a few working brain cells, too, as he prepares to graduate from Dallas College once again.

Joshua is graduating with seven associate degrees this year in software development, web production and design, social work, psychology, criminal justice, sociology and peace and human rights studies. That will bring his total to 10 associate degrees earned from Dallas College.

Joshua has earned a combined 15 college degrees, including bachelor’s degrees from South Texas College and New England College. He’ll also be earning a master’s degree this year from Middle Georgia State University with plans to pursue a doctorate degree from the same university in the near future.

“I’ll be done eventually,” Joshua said, smiling. “I want to set myself up to where I eventually have a position such as an IT project manager. With the college degrees and certificates that I’ll be earning, they’ll prepare me for that. The return on my investment is there and will be well worth it.”

Seeing his son’s academic success pushed Ken to complete his associate degree at Dallas College. Ken started taking classes at the Eastfield Campus in 1981 and, 42 years later, will finally walk the graduation stage with his son during the Thursday, May 11 ceremony.

“I’ve been out of high school for 45 years. It’s crazy,” Ken said. “I have friends who have stacks of college degrees, yet I’m just trying to get a basic college degree. This is just for me, and not anyone else, really. At this point in my life, it is not going to change my career … but with knowing how much Josh has accomplished, he’s inspired me to go ahead and do it.” 

Early Years

Life simply forced Ken to put college on the back burner in the 1980s. He got married at age 22 and started a family shortly afterward.

His oldest son, Jeremy, was born in 1983. Joshua and his twin sister, Jordan, came along five years later. Joshua and Jordan, though, were born prematurely and the medical bills piled up with the countless number of visits to the hospital and various specialists.

“I was just trying to keep groceries on the table,” Ken said. “School was the last thing on my mind at that point.”

The family made it through those trying times.

All three children went on to graduate from Dallas College and, unlike children following in their father’s footsteps, Ken is now following in his children’s footsteps by becoming a college graduate.

Ken is grateful to have someone such as Joshua showing him the ropes in today’s educational world.

“We never had to use MLA style when it came to writing 40 years ago,” Ken said, laughing. “So, it was beneficial to have my son show me how to format different documents and things like that. I had a tutor, which made it easier for me because it made the learning curve not so steep.”

From a tutoring perspective, Joshua had nothing but praise for his father.

“He was a good student,” Joshua said. “He was diligent. He worked hard. He made sure that everything that he worked on was turned in on time.”

Why Dallas College

Ken and Joshua have both enjoyed their time at Dallas College.

Both were able to take classes that didn’t interfere with their day jobs. It was affordable, as neither took on student debt. Most importantly, they had memorable experiences in the classroom.

Ken recalled a music appreciation course in which he learned that tourniquet kits were first used by military band members during the Civil War.

“I used to be a paramedic in Dallas, and I still teach ‘Stop the Bleed’ classes,” Ken said. “I found it very interesting that every regiment in the Civil War had a band, as they would go retrieve the wounded. That’s one of the first places in U.S. history where tourniquets were used. That was one of the more interesting things that I learned, and I now tell it when I’m teaching those classes. Just learning history like that was enjoyable for me.”

For Joshua, Dallas College has offered enough programs and degrees to lay the foundation for his career and his future.

“It’s been great,” he said. “The professors have been great. The materials that I’ve been learning are preparing me for the future that I want to have within IT. All of it has really given me a good, solid foundation for the great job that I have now and for the future.”

Published inStudent Success Story