Twyanna Williams, a 65-year old grandmother from Philadelphia, has finally graduated from high school after putting her education off for several years due to financial reasons. What’s more, is she was honored as the class valedictorian!
When she was a teen, Williams didn’t have a chance to continue high school since her parents separated. She had to take jobs to help the family financially.
“I felt sad for myself for coming out of school and seeing my friends graduating but I was working,” Williams told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “My focus was on surviving.”
She had to work at local fast-food restaurants, hospitals, and hotels. But she didn’t forget her dream of going back to school to earn a high school diploma, especially whenever she had to attend the graduation ceremonies of her 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
“Everyone deserves a high school diploma,” she said. “The older I got, the more I wanted it.”
Last year, Williams had the opportunity to return to school through the Educational Options Programs in Philadelphia, which allows older students to complete credits to receive a high school diploma.
Most recently, she finished the program and became one of the two valedictorians in her category B class of returning students ages 40 and over at South Philadelphia High School.