65-year-old grandma graduates as high school valedictorian


  • Twyanna Williams, a 65-year-old grandma, has graduated high school recently and was even named as class valedictorian.
  • Twyanna was “overwhelmed” with the award.
  • It has long been her dream to earn her high school diploma and age didn’t stop her to achieve that!

She’s 65 and retired, but still living the life.

Besides graduating high school this week, 65-year-old Twyanna Williams was also the valedictorian of her class at Philadelphia’s South Philadelphia High School.

“Oh, my goodness, I was overwhelmed,” she told TODAY. “I was so ecstatic and excited and couldn’t believe that I did that. I made it that far? I was really excited. It was exciting for me and I felt important. I felt special.”

Twyanna has worked in fast-food restaurants, factories, hotels and hospitals for 40 years before retiring, but she had always wanted to go back to school to earn her high school diploma.

“I hope I inspire people that are my age and older that’s dropped out of school to go back,” she said. “It’s not that bad.”

When she was 15, the grandmother of four dropped out of school to get a job and help her mother who got divorced from her father. Although she has two kids of her own later on, she remained focused on finishing her education.

Photo Credit: Twyanna Williams/TODAY

“That was always in the back of my head, to get my diploma,” she said.

In early 2020, Twyanna returned to school through the city’s Educational Options Program that enables adults to earn their high school diploma. For Twyanna, it “was the right time.”

“It was good timing for me because you couldn’t go out, couldn’t go anywhere [because of the pandemic],” she said. “I was like, ‘This a good chance to pass the time away.’ I’m retired. I’m 65, I’m not working anymore. I’m on a fixed income. So I was like, let me go back to school, this is my time to go back to school, get my diploma.”

Photo Credit: Twyanna Williams/TODAY

The determined grandma didn’t miss any school day and made the most out of her online school. “I was there every day. I was set up every day in front of that computer,” she said.

“I would like for the whole world to know that it’s never too late to go back to school, no matter what age you drop out,” she said. “It’s never too late. It is important. Education is very important.”

Source: TODAY


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