Edwards raises $500 to fly his mom to Simpson College for his graduation


by Alex Kirkpatrick, Digital Editor

As a first-generation college student, PJ Edwards can now walk across the stage with his mom proudly looking onward. 

That wouldn’t have been the case had it not been for numerous donors and support from friends and family. 

Angelic Cager, a single mother, lives in Phoenix and had no means of traveling 1,400 miles to Indianola, Iowa, to witness her son’s graduation. 

In order to fly his mom to the Midwest, Edwards, a marketing major, used his skills and set up a GoFundMe fundraiser — the goal: $500. 

“I want my mom to be here because she raised me by herself,” Edwards said. “She’s my inspiration, and I want her to see me accomplish this goal. She wasn’t able to be here for senior night because of financial reasons, and I was upset, but that’s something we couldn’t control.”

But in two weeks, 16 donors helped Edwards meet his goal, with additional comments of support and praise — many of whom were faculty and staff helping him throughout his college journey. 

“From my freshman year I had no idea what I wanted to do pertaining to my major. The help here from faculty was amazing,” Edwards said. 

He continues, “I’m grateful of my advisor, Sharon Wilkinson, and also everyone in the Hawley Center, especially Kara May. I’m not afraid to ask for help because that’s what they are here for.”

And after years of hard work, Edwards is graduating with assurance his mom will be there in person to encourage him.  

Edwards says she’s never doubted him and that he’s proud of his relationship with his mom. 

“Getting her out here to see me walk across the stage is something she will always remember and something she will be proud of,” he said.