78-Year-Old Goes To College

By: Dontaye Carter Email
By: Dontaye Carter Email

"My mother always said give me a book and a pencil and I'll be alright."

Age is just a number for 78-year-old Frances Jackson.

After she retired from driving school buses in December 2009, the mother of 3, grandmother of 7 and great grandmother of 6 more decided she was going back to school.

"I'm excited, going in the classroom with a lot of children. You know the younger ones I say and I'll be taking practical nurse," said Jackson.

But Jackson says her road to getting enrolled at Wiregrass Technical College wasn't easy.

She had to take a few prep classes to get caught back up with everything.

"Those nouns and pronouns and verbs and adjectives. Boy they're something else," said the student. "Those compounds. But anyway I made it."

Jackson will be the oldest student to attend the college. She'll start on April Fourth, two days after her birthday.

The average age of a student at Wiregrass is 26. Jackson will be 79 when she starts. But her teacher Rhena Wienert says her effort is a recipe for success.

"There's a lot of kids that give up, that don't want to try anymore, that think they're stuck where they are in life and if they can see Ms. Jackson and what she's accomplished at her age," said Wienert. "Then I think they would be inspired to keep trying."

It's a lesson Wienert says- despite our ages- we all can learn from.

Jackson graduated from Cook County High School in 1951.

She says once she gets her degree she can't wait to start working as a nurse.


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