The future times four

Published 10:28 am Sunday, June 17, 2007

NATCHEZ — For many families having two parents is not enough. For Deborah Ruffin, a single mother of six, one is plenty.

And this year, Ruffin had four from her nest graduate. Tameka, her oldest daughter graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College, her second oldest Lakeitha graduated from Alcorn State University and her twins, Breona and Brodderick graduated from Jefferson County High School.

The success of all of her children lies in their close bond, Deborah said.

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“My mom’s help, prayer and good teachers all contributed to our success in school,” Tameka said.

Deborah has carefully raised her children with morals and ethics. They have also encouraged and helped each other with homework and other problems, she said.

“I pray a lot, and people say I am too hard. They don’t understand,” Deborah said. “Work makes my kids appreciate all of the things we have been blessed with.”

Tameka graduated from Co-Lin with a degree in respiratory therapy. She is working at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven.

“My mom really pushed me to study hard and succeed,” Tameka said.

Lakeitha, who just graduated with a degree in agricultural economics, is entering an internship at the University of Arkansas with the hope of entry to graduate school.

“She is so smart it scares me sometimes,” Deborah said. “She is one of those people who just gets it.”

Roger, the oldest son is a sophomore at Co-Lin. He is an undecided major, but has an interest in welding. He helps around the house fixing things

“He is my surrogate husband,” Deborah said.

Breona, the oldest twin, is enrolled at Co-Lin at Wesson. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma during her junior year of high school and still undergoes treatment. She is living on the Co-Lin campus, and plans to study nursing.

“My mom has encouraged me to not act different just because I am sick,” Breona said. “If I act sick, then I am sick.”

Deborah has a special place in her heart for Breona.

“For her to overcome such adversity it so honorable,” Deborah said.

Brodderick, will be attending Co-Lin in the fall with his sister. He and Breona share a deep connection despite being very different. He plans on studying criminal justice and being a walk-on player with the baseball team.

“My mom and I agree that I don’t need to play with my future; it’s so important,” Brodderick said.

The youngest child is Travis. He is in the ninth grade and plans on being just as successful as his siblings.

“You can’t give up hope,” Travis said. “If you work hard then you will succeed.”