A photo of a woman hugging her toddler son at her college graduation is spreading a powerful message to mothers on social media.
Soncya Williams of Nashville, Tennessee, recently shared the image on Instagram where it's being shared by thousands. In the picture, Williams is wearing her cap and gown and embracing her little boy Elijah, who is holding a sign which reads "She did it for me!"
"My goal ultimately was to graduate. But after finding out I was expecting [a child], I didn't want it to keep me from reaching my goals," Williams told "Good Morning America." "If anything, he inspired me to keep going. This photo is a reminder, 'I did it for you then and I'm going to continue to do it for you now.'"
Williams, 28, said she found out she was pregnant while attending Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis. Knowing she'd have to take a break from school when her baby arrived, she took summer classes.
Williams then moved in with her mother to save money -- giving up the full tuition ride she had at Lemoyne-Owen and transferred to Tennessee State University so she could be closer to her support system in Nashville.
"That was a trying time for me," Williams recalled. "Now I'm having to pay for school, pay for a little boy. It was a matter of my trying to figure out, 'How can I get this done?'"
"I was fearful," she added. "I was fearful of the way people would look at me because I [was a mother and] wasn't married. I was fearful of men not wanting to be with me because I had a child."
On her graduation day, photographer Montelewa Smith snapped a photo of Williams' 1-year-old greeting her after the commencement at Tennessee State.
Williams said the image is reminder to her of all she went through to graduate, and the important lesson in learning to love herself.
She shared the picture on Instagram writing the following:
My child, it is because of your presence that God blessed me with this vision.
I type this with tears in my eyes because at one point, out of fear, I questioned keeping you.
Once you were born, I questioned how other people would view me having a child out of wedlock.
As a single parent even to this day, I question if your presence is apart of what keeps me single.
In the past I‘be been guilty of hiding you because I thought I’d lose friendships and potential relationships because "Men" DONT want to date women with a child.
But most recently I keep you close. We are a package deal. And truth be told I would not be the woman I am today with out you!!!
My joy, my vision, my courage to keeping going comes from you.
And any relationship or friendship I have that does not embrace me AND you is a relationship I do not need.
It took mommy a while to learn that, so I say all that to say this I STILL DO IT FOR YOU!!!!!
Thank you for loving me just the way I am.
Williams earned her bachelor's degree in business administration with a hospitality concentration in 2014, but the photo gained new life after the blog Working Momkind re-shared it Sunday.
Women commented on the post and thanked Williams for her honesty in sharing her fears as a single parent.
"I went through a stage to teach myself to teach myself to be self appreciative," Williams said. "I think a lot of times as women we are scared to put the truth out there of what we went through ... I realized I have a gift to inspire."
Williams, who is an assistant branch manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said she recently started a community for mothers who work called MOMllennials.
She hopes to inspire women to achieve their goals while focusing on self-love, she said.
"Trials, tribulations and circumstances will blur your vision but the light is there," Williams added. "You've got to keep fighting through the storm to appreciate the sunshine."