Violet Edwards Becomes The Oldest Black Woman In The U.S. To Graduate College At Age 96
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Violet Edwards Becomes The Oldest Black Woman In The U.S. To Graduate College At Age 96

It’s never too late to go for your dreams, and this grandmother is living proof of it.

Violet Edwards just became the fifth oldest person in the world to earn her college degree at the age of 96. She is also officially the oldest Black woman to graduate from college in the U.S., Atlanta Black Star reports.

Edwards wanted to finish her journey toward obtaining her college degree ahead of her 100th birthday, although, she kicked things off a few decades ago. Due to financial setbacks, her road to furthering her education came to a halt. However, as you now know, she continued to press on.

Making History

As a woman of many firsts, Edwards stems from Jamaica, where she became the first person in her village to attend high school on a full academic scholarship. According to reports, she took her final exams prior to graduation during World War II and even was fearful that the test would not make it to England where it was sent over for grading.

Since Edwards did not have the money to continue her education, she decided to pursue a career within the island’s postal service. With a spirit destined for greatness, she became the first appointed female regional inspector before her decision to retire and head to New York in 1973.

Fulfilling Life's Purpose

Once in the states, Edwards’ sole mission was to help put her daughter through medical school. This also inspired her to return to school. Therefore, she made the decision to enroll in the College of New Rochelle in the early 1990s.

Another financial setback prevented Edwards from fulfilling her mission. However, she still persevered. On top of the lack of financial resources, she soon discovered that the college she had attended was closed once she tried to re-enroll for a second time. Unfortunately, 84 of her credits were non-transferable — yet, she still kept going.

Last month, Edwards graduated from Mercy College and she defied the odds to achieve such a feat after being diagnosed with cancer just one year shy of her last year in college. On July 5, she underwent surgery and completed her final radiation treatment.