89-year-old elementary dropout who just finished first degree — pursues another degree

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  • An 89-year-old woman who just graduated from her first degree wants to learn even more
  • She had dropped out of school in the sixth grade to help her family
  • Liberty University in Virginia confirmed she’s now pursuing another degree
  • Her daughter described her as a lifelong learner

She started via an online program in 2012 and finished her first degree in 2018; now, she’s working towards another degree.

Ella Washington, 89, graduated Saturday with an Associate Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies following a suggestion from one of her children to enroll in an online program. The school, Liberty University in Virginia, said she’s now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history.

According to Essence website, Washington dropped out of school in the sixth grade to help in her family’s farm. Thereafter, she worked with a variety of jobs while taking care of her 12 children.

She got a diploma at the age of 49 from an adult education program, but the recent was her first degree.

“Education will help you make the best life for yourselves and those who come after you,” she said, as per USA Today.

Ellen Mitchell, her daughter, said her mom has always been a lifelong learner with her desire for learning and pursuing an education became a family tradition.

“She taught all of her children how to read, write, and do math prior to their beginning school, just as her grandmother taught her and her siblings.”

Here’s a video story from WW News: