Seventy-five years after completing all her college requirements, a 99-year-old woman finally received her diploma. This adorable story of a woman finally achieving her goal is quite touching, but the woman herself is even more amazing. I think we can all learn a lesson from Jessie White, who was born in 1915.
“It took me years to get a job. They wouldn’t hire me because I was on crutches. Finally I said to this man, you want someone with experience. How am I ever going to get experience if nobody will give me a chance?” White continued to get job after job, and now she can officially say she has a degree in bookkeeping and stenography from Beal College.
A $5 transcript fee that she couldn’t afford at the time caused the 75-year SNAFU. She suffered from a disability due to polio, but that never kept her down. White was wheeled up to the podium, where she received her degree.
“Never give up learning. They say when you give up learning you grow old, so I don’t intend to give up learning,” White told ABC News. She should have been wearing a cap and gown in 1939, but she never gave up.
In a society focused on superficial and lazy habits, this woman is an amazing role model. I would be proud to call her a fellow alumna or my own grandmother. The next time you feel like skipping class or taking your education for granted, think of Ms. White and her impeccable sweater combinations. She preserved through the challenges of social and gender discrimination, and she finally became a very worthy college graduate. Congrats, Ms. White! You did it!