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New Jersey mom celebrates daughter's doctorate with billboard

The single mom of two raised her family in Camden, New Jersey, which is often ranked as one of the most dangerous in the country.

NEW YORK — Parents can sometimes go above and beyond to show how proud they are of their children. One New Jersey mom did just that, and may have topped them all.

When Kristine Smalls earned her doctorate, her proud mom let it all out.

"I was on cloud nine," Kendra Busbee told CBS News.

The single mom of two raised her family in Camden, New Jersey. The city is often ranked as one of the most dangerous in the country. For that reason, Busbee wanted to honor her daughter's achievement with a bold move. 

Smalls said she figured her mother would plan a party or a dinner to mark the occasion.  

Credit: CBS News
Kristine Smalls in front of her billboard.

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But a giant billboard featuring Smalls' smile and an inspiring message towered over a busy highway for an entire month. 

Smalls told CBS News she never thought this would be her present, but she thinks it's "amazing." She said that her hope is that when people drive by they see that "good things come out of Camden."

"It's so important because it's a lot of negative things that people portray about Camden. And I want people to know that there are good things that are in the community as well," Smalls said.

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