"A mother can't raise a man, but I raised a gentleman," the billboard reads, alongside AJ's graduation photo. Ovella raised her son with strict rules, including no girlfriend or cell phone and a curfew mandating he be home before dark. It looks like her tough love paid off. In a town when 35 percent of residents haven't finished high school, AJ is heading to Rowan University to study engineering this fall.
While earning his degree and pursuing his own dreams at college, AJ hopes to give his mom her dream car one day. "I know I want my own house and my mom wanted a BMW so I'm going to try get her that too," he told CBS 3 News.
Clearly both AJ and his mom know that education is the best investment in yourself!