News August 09, 2022 at 11:32 am

Mother rents billboard space to celebrate her daughter receiving her doctorate

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

Francis Akhalbey August 09, 2022 at 11:32 am

August 09, 2022 at 11:32 am | News

Dr. Kristine Smalls received a clinical psychology doctorate degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine -- Photo Credit: Monica Herndon / The Philadelphia Inquirer

A mother whose daughter recently earned a doctorate degree went the extra mile to celebrate her achievement after she rented billboard space in New Jersey to commemorate her academic milestone.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kristine Smalls initially thought her family and friends had gathered at a parking lot of a restaurant to celebrate the clinical psychology doctorate degree she received from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on July 29. She also thought they had convened outside because of COVID-10 safety measures. But she received a huge surprise when she saw the digital billboard display congratulating her.

“OMG, I’m on a billboard,” Smalls said when she saw the display. Her mother, Kendra Busbee said she decided to take out the billboard because every achievement her children make “needs to be heard.” 

“For our Black and our brown children, letting them know that anything is possible,” Busbee said.

The billboard, which is 14 feet high and 48 feet wide, is situated on a busy highway on the outskirts of their hometown of Camden. 

“Let me Re-Introduce Myself …” the billboard honoring Smalls starts. And underneath the sentence is Small’s full name as well as her title. He nickname, “Dr. Smiles” is also featured in the display. 

“Look what good came out of Camden!” another statement on the billboard reads.

Busbee explained she wanted to honor her daughter in a huge way after she watched her gradually go through school. 

“She typically goes above and beyond for me and my brother whenever we, like, have any type of accomplishment,” said Smalls. “She kind of outdoes herself each time.”

A photo of Busbee’s gesture has since been liked over 100,000 times on Facebook. “We want to start from positivity,” Busbee said. “Every other child that may ride by the billboard, who else will it touch, and who else will it inspire by seeing my daughter and her Black girl magic?”

It cost the proud mother $1,250 to take out the billboard space. The display will run for a month, and 150,000 motorists could possibly catch a glimpse of it, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

 “The billboard definitely makes me very happy and makes me feel very good about myself,” Smalls said.

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