A moving testament that age should not deter anyone from reaching their educational goals, Cora Sue Mitchell, 71, of Helena, was among the 2013 GED graduates of the Adult and Developmental Education program at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) on Thursday, May 9.
PCCUA Adult Education Director Cyrus Vance noted that this year's GED graduating class ranged in age from 17-71.
Accompanied to her graduation ceremony by a host of family members of all ages, Mitchell said, “I am 71 years old and always regretted not fishing high school and getting my diploma. At age 70, I found myself at a loss with nothing to fill my time. I had just lost my grandson, Chaz Hunter Moneymaker, to Batten Disease. I had spent the last 18 years helping take care of Chaz. When he was gone, I found my days long and unbearable.”
She added that was when she decided to go to Phillips College and get her GED.
“I can't say it was easy for me, because it wasn't,” she said tearfully. “But, I was determined, and with the help of Mrs. Williams (Trece), who showed me endless patience and understanding, I pulled through. Thank you, Mrs. Williams. I would also like to thank Mr. Vance for his kindness and encouragement to reach my goal.”
Mitchell also thanked her family for their faith and support and added that she hoped her personal achievement would encourage as least one person to follow their dreams and reach their goals.
In closing, she stated, “I would like to dedicate my diploma to the memory of my grandson, Chaz, who never got the chance to get a diploma of his own.”