Defying both her age and financial constraints, sixty-five-year-old grandmother, Twyanna Williams, shines as the star student of South Philadelphia High School.
The senior woman, who had to abandon her high school education in her teens due to her parents separating, stepped back into academia to fulfill her dream of gaining a degree. Despite dealing with money troubles, she held various jobs ranging from fast food joints, hospitals, to hotels to look after her family.
In retrospect of her journey, Twyanna Williams disclosed, “I was filled with a sense of sorrow every day when I returned from work and saw my friends graduating, while I was trying to make ends meet.”
Motivated by her ambition of achieving a high school degree, she relentlessly chased her dream while witnessing her two children and four grandchildren graduate.
Defying age, a 65-year-old woman graduates as the class topper
In 2020, a golden opportunity appeared through the Philadelphia’s Educational Options Programs that permitted older students to accumulate credits for a high school diploma. Williams grabbed the chance and joined South Philadelphia High School.
In a class comprising of students aged 40 and above who were returning to studies, Williams outshone others by becoming one of the two class valedictorians. Her triumph serves as a reminder that everyone is entitled to high school education.
This moving story of the 65-year-old woman underscores the fact that age should never be seen as an obstacle to learning and dreams deferred can be realized with unwavering determination and fortitude.