101-year-old Sarah Simpkins is on track to obtain a college degree alongside her granddaughter.
WTOK News reports Simpkins is enrolled in an early childhood education program at Brightpoint Community College in Chester, VA.
This is made possible through Virginia’s Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974, which allows senior citizens to enroll in higher education at no cost, Virginia Western reports.
It’s been over eight decades since Simpkins dropped out of school after becoming pregnant. She went on to have 12 children, but still hoped to continue her education.
“I wanted to do that just to prove to me that I can do it,” Simpkins told the outlet.
Simpkins dedicates her Tuesdays and Thursdays to in-person art classes, a personal favorite among her student activities. Plus, she breezes through her standard coursework.
“When I go to do the homework, that’s easy,” Simpkins explained to WTOK News. “Piece of cake.”
“My grandmother’s just an inspiration,” Shepherd-Crawford told WTOK News.
In May 2024, the duo will be earn their degrees.
“It’s special because we both will finish together, and we’ll both walk across the stage together,” said Shepherd-Crawford. “It made us work harder. And that was our motivation. We’re gonna do this together. We’re gonna finish together.”
“I wanted to do that just to prove to me that I can do it,” said Simpkins, who finished her first semester at Brightpoint Community College with a 3.5 GPA.
Simpkins attributes her long life to maintaining a positive spirit and being present.
“You know what, I never plan that far ahead,” Simpkins told WTOK News. “Living in the moment.”