Sammy Nickalls
June 09, 2015 9:03 am

The typical age of a college grad is 21, 22 or 23. . . but it’s never too late to go after your dreams. That’s what Doreetha Daniels reminded us when she graduated college last week at age 99, making her the most awesome grad EVER.

Doreetha, originally from Nebraska, just earned her associate’s degree in social sciences at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. She’s been studying there since 2009, and after six years, she was able to go to the podium and tell the crowd, “99, here I am.”

This was certainly not an easy feat for the grad, who struggled through various obstacles during those six years—from serious health crises to losing her driver’s license because her age, as her son Robert explained to KTLA. But she was inspired and determined—and she did it!

“My grandchildren inspired me, because they were all adults working on their masters, so I said, ‘I’m not doing anything, and I’m tired of my hobbies, so I’m gonna go to school,'” Doreetha told KTLA after the ceremony. “. . . I accomplished what I wanted to do, and this is my dream come true.”

According to a recent press release by the school, Doreetha, the school’s oldest graduate to date, had always aimed to live life to the fullest, but just wasn’t able to complete her education earlier in her life. She’s seen more than most graduates ever have—the Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and World War II.

College officials told KTLA that Doreetha struggled with the rigors of contemporary academics—computer literacy and technology was particularly challenging for her—which makes total sense, considering that she was over 70 years older than the average student at the college.

“It’s been 63 years since I’ve taken algebra even,” Doreetha said in a statement. “But I’ve learned a lot.”

But being the amazing woman she is, she persevered by working with tutors, studying hard, and doing all of her homework. In fact, the college describes her as “one of the most dedicated and hardworking students in the class.”

“Doreetha is a living testament to the saying, ‘If there is a will, there is a way,'” counseling faculty member Liz Shaker told press. “Her desire to get out of bed each day and come to school and face the challenges in and outside of the classroom inspired us all. She is truly an amazing woman who has impacted my life and I feel so fortunate that I was able to experience her journey alongside her.”

When KTLA asked Doreetha what her advice is for younger generations, she said, “Don’t give up. Do it. Don’t let anybody discourage you. Say that, ‘I’m going to do it,’ and do it for yourself.”

“I was really emotional, I was emotional now,” her tearful grandson, Raymond, told KTLA. “Just, you know. . . I’m really really proud of her.”

We’re proud of you too, Doreetha, for your determination and perseverance. Thanks for inspiring us to the max, and we can’t wait to see the amazing things you do next.

(Images via)

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