Mom and daughter enjoy bond, attend PRCC’s Forrest County Campus together

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Olivia Vidrine, a freshman student at Pearl River Community College, admits that few things are more precious than the bond she has with her mom, Randa Vidrine.

They are so close that they both attend PRCC’s Forrest County Campus at the same time, majoring in the same subject, with the same future goal – to attend Pharmacy School.

Randa is 42 years-old, mother of three and spent 17 years as a stay-at-home mom. Olivia is 18, a recent high school graduate and enjoys going to school with her mom.

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“My mom and me have always been close,” said Olivia. “It’s like going to school with my best friend. It can be rough at times when her motherly instincts kick in, but I would not have it any other way.”
Said Randa, “It feels surreal to be attending college with my daughter. When our kids are small, we always imagine what their future will hold for them. I feel blessed to be a part of the experience with her.”

The Vidrines are from Louisiana and live in Purvis. Husband Alvin is a truck driver and the previous owner of a trucking business. Their oldest daughter is a nurse, they have a son in the tenth grade. Randa graduated from Pharmacy Tech school in 2019 and currently works at the South Mississippi Stater Hospital in Purvis.

In the fall semester, mom and daughter shared Sociology, World Civilization, General Chemistry I and lab classes. They were both inducted into Phi Theta Kappa’s Beta Tau Gamma chapter at the FCC.

When spring semester classes begin next week, they will have four out of five classes together.

“Last spring when Olivia was still in high school, I decided to go back to school to become a pharmacist,” said Randa. “It was my idea.”

They both have the same major at PRCC: Associate in Arts with a minor in Health Sciences. They both want to attend Pharmacy School at William Carey University.

“My mom was already a Pharmacy Tech so she encouraged me to attend Pharmacy School with her,” said Olivia.

Dr. Greg Underwood, Dean of Academic Instruction at the FCC, has taught both mom and daughter.

“I had Olivia in an online class (last semester) and I taught her mother last spring,” said Underwood. “Both women have been excellent students and writers. Both are also pharmacy majors, which is interesting because that is not a field that many of my students express an interest in. Both were and are a delight to have in class.”

Randa and Olivia could not have imagined going to school together but both say it feels natural. They have both enjoyed their experience at PRCC thus far.

“PRCC has been great, especially having my mom to experience it with me,” said Olivia. “She definitely motivates me. God knew I needed her with me.”

Added Randa, “What excites be about being a student at PRCC is that I get to share this experience with my daughter, and we get to learn things together. We have our struggles because we are always comparing who did better on tests, but that is part of the experience and we keep each other motivated.”

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Article and photography by Chuck Abadie.