However, Terri Johnson found it difficult to celebrate.
"I'm holding on. I'm holding on. Just taking it one day at a time," Johnson said. "That's all I can do now."
Instead of her daughter, Myneishia, standing on the stage at the Orpheum Theater in her cap and gown, she was buried in it on Friday.
"It was a bad day. It was a long, bad day," Jasmine Johnson, Myneishia's sister, said.
Myneishia, also known as Shugnug, was murdered near Beale Street last weekend.
Her accused killer, Kwasi Corbin, is locked up.
"Say Congratulations, mommy," Chantee Black said as she held Myneishia's child.
Shugnug left behind a 1-year-old son named Kylan.
"This was her prized possession, Kylan. She loved her son," Black said.
Now forced to grow up without a mother, Kylan was given a gift that will last him a lifetime.
He accepted his mother's high school diploma.
"I feel good for me and my grandbaby to walk across that stage and get that diploma," Terri Johnson said.
"We missing Myneishia, but we're very proud of her. We looked forward to this day," Black said.
Ms. Johnson had a message for her daughter:
"I love you Shugnug. Momma got Kylan. You got so much support -- so much friends and family that love you, baby. I know you see us 'cause you watching down on us. I just want you to know from all of us -- we love you Shugnug."
[protected-iframe id="f899b1664e50718a7f406ed399971048-29519520-61971461" info="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMichaelQuanderWREG%2Fvideos%2F896810843761368%2F&show_text=1&width=560" width="560" height="419" frameborder="0" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no"]