According to an exclusive with People Kimora Lee Simmons is celebrating her daughter’s achievements.
On Thursday, the model-turned-businesswoman, 48, celebrated her daughter Aoki Lee’s graduation from Harvard University.
“I feel grateful, proud and relieved — in that order! It’s a surreal feeling to be done with something that was such a huge part of my life. Now, like every other graduate, I’m on to the next chapter,” Aoki Lee exclusively tells PEOPLE.
She continues, “I’m so thankful for the village of people that spurred me along and helped keep me focused. My mom, my sister, my little brothers back at home. It took a whole tribe, trust me!”
This graduation isn’t the first of the month for the Simmons family.
Simmons’ daughter Ming Lee, 23, was also in attendance at Aoki Lee’s graduation after graduating from NYU last week.
Aoki Lee tells PEOPLE what she’s looking forward to doing next.
“I’ll be in New York modeling, writing and working at my mom’s company. There are so many projects that I can’t wait to dive into,” she says. “But it will be nice to take a breath!”
Kimora also sahred:
“This has been a banner season for our family. Both my daughters graduating the same year — wow! I can’t begin to express how proud I am of them. They’re both such brainy beauties! And they’re all mine!”
“I want Aoki Lee to keep the same energy and passion she’s shown her entire life. It’s nice to have a Harvard grad in the family, but it might be nice to have an attorney, too. I’ve promised myself I’ll wait at least a week before I start gently nudging her in that direction, though.”
About being a single mother
“I’m a single mom of five kids and I know how hard it can be and I don’t want to start crying, but it’s Mother’s Day, I know how that feels like to raise your kids and to get up every day and only care about them,”
“And it doesn’t matter, if you’re rich and famous or you’re this thing or this singer, that singer, at the end of the day, you’re a mom or you’re a cousin, you’re an auntie, you’re a family member, you’re a community person, a caregiver, you’re just there trying to make everything come together,” she continued.
She also spoke about the juxtaposition of having elementary and middle-school-aged sons and college-aged daughters.
“To have three kids at home that are pre-teen — I guess 13 is a teenager — and just trying to get them through … it’s a lot, it’s like an emotional rollercoaster as any mom knows or any person knows that’s in the proximity of children.”
Speaking about her daughters’ graduations at the time, Simmons said, “It’s a big time for them. It’s a very meaningful time for me.”
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