Grandma, 85, graduates from high school with honorary diploma 67 years after her supposed graduation date; reveals next step for her

Monday, June 3, 2024
 -Smith grew up on a tobacco farm in Wilmington, North Carolina. In 1956, her father was pressed with the challenge of earning more in order to raise his six children after tobacco rates fell. 

Smith and her siblings were then uprooted to Somerville, New Jersey.

"I was going to the 10th grade, and I told him, the biggest mistake that I made, I think, was telling him that I didn’t want to go to school," Smith said. "And he said, 'Go to work.'"

 she took a job at a dry c, then at a pocketbook factory. 

 Shortly thereafter, she got married and started a family of her own, later moving them to Georgia.

 Though she considered vocational school a few times, her goals of caring for her children and raising her family took precedence over a degree, she said. 

 Smith said education was a priority in her home, however, and that if her children were going to live under her roof, they would receive an education. She added that her children didn’t seem to mind.

 "Matter of fact, they cried to go to school. Even when it was snowing, they wanted to go to school," she said.

 Today, Smith is beaming with pride that she’s watched her children and grandchildren receive their educations from Texas A&M, Montclair University, California State University, Fullerton, University of Tampa and University of Mississippi, among other schools.

Her family is equally proud of her for her lifetime of accomplishments and feels she is more than deserving of the honour.

 "My nana never missed a high school or college graduation for any of her children or grandchildren," Smith's granddaughter, Brianna Robinson told Fox News Digital.  "I couldn’t be more honoured and inspired. She always taught us to chase our dreams, and all things are possible if you keep faith in God."

 Smith credits God for her diploma as she believes His plan and work through others is the reason those who have experience versus education still have the ability to be rewarded for their tireless efforts in life.

 "I’m really appreciative, and I’m really thankful to God," she said. "I always try to figure out, What do people see in me? I draw people, no matter what colour they are, who they are — I just draw people."

Regarding the next steps and the prospect of going to college, Smith laughed and said she is preparing to meet her maker.

 "I’m getting ready to go to heaven, that’s what I’m getting ready to do," she said with a smile. 

"I’m going to get my reward from him," she told Fox News Digital. 

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