Young woman from Dawson Springs graduates from UK days after meeting President Biden

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 4:46 PM CST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In the aftermath of the devastating storms, a young woman from Dawson Springs got the opportunity to meet with President Biden. On Friday, she graduated from the University of Kentucky.

More than 1,200 people were set to walk across the stage and turn their tassels in Rupp Arena Friday.

For many, graduation is a joyous occasion. But the moment was bittersweet for Abigail Parker.

“I actually wasn’t going to come. I was going to stay down there and help out,” Parker said.

Parker was at home in Dawson Springs when a tornado tore through the town.

“We went downstairs and it was over in seconds, and at my parents’ house it wasn’t hit that bad so we didn’t really think anything of it,” Parker said.

She and her family soon learned of the devastation. Parker’s apartment was ripped up and their grandparents’ home was gone.

But as they cleaned up, Parker had a special encounter. She met with President Joe Biden.

“We waved at him and my Nana actually told him, ‘my granddaughter is graduating from UK and he gave me a big hug and told me how proud he was of me,’” Parker said.

Parker’s back and forth with President Biden didn’t end with their meeting. The Commander-in-Chief took the time to stay in touch with her.

“He got my phone number afterwards and he actually called me so that was really crazy,” Parker said.

Parker said her mind is on her home as she graduates Friday, but she said it’s special that her community has received so much support from the president and around the world.

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