According to 2000 US Census Reports, twenty-three percent of all Arkansas families are led by women with no husband or father in the home. That figure represents more than 97,000 families. Cathy Shipley is one of those statistics. But if you ask her two sons, a single mom was more than enough. "I have so much respect for my mom and everything she did for us when we were little" "I dont know how she did it, but she set a great example for us." Twenty years ago Cathy Shipley found herself as a single mother, divorced, trying to raise two small boys on her own, then five and six years old. Like most single parents, it was often a juggling act. Matthew McKay Son "She ran around a lot between school and work, getting us to school and our extra-curricular activities." Cathy Shipley Single Mother "One summer they were playing baseball on different teams, so I would have one of them a few miles away at a practice session and I would have one on the field actually playing a game." "She had to work really hard. It was tough for her." Somehow, Cathy managed - working two jobs. "Im a good budgeter. They always had a few extras." While putting herself through school - Kristopher McKay Son "When she took us on, she didnt even have her bachelors degree. By the time we left the house she had her bachelors degree and her masters degree." and raising two bright sons with great values and morals... "Perseverance, hard work, overcoming difficulties - the importance of an education" "I think the example she set for us has been the most useful thing that I have taken away from it." This past weekend Cathy saw her hard work pay off as she watched Kristopher graduate from medical school at UAMS and her younger son, Matthew, was among the 131 new law graduates at UALR. But as usual, even that was a bit hectic. "Ill have time to watch Matthew graduate. Then we have a really good friend - he is going to be waiting out front of the Statehouse Convention Center. He is going to load us up in the car - race across town as fast as he can without getting a ticket - drive up - drop us off at the door of the Barton Coliseum." "Ill be crying. I’ll be very proud of them." But not as proud as Matthew and Kristopher are of their mom. "If anyone is still of the impression that a single mother cant raise two children just as good as anyone else, Id like to dismiss that notion completely because she has given us everything and more. Just a little bit of work I think." Good news, Cathy was able to make it to both graduations. Matthew is now married and plans to practice law here in little rock. Kristopher is moving to New Haven, Connecticut, where he is doing his residency in pathology. He is getting married in about a week and a half.