An octogenarian woman graduated from a Virginia university with an associate degree and doesn’t plan on stopping her higher education pursuits no time soon.
Ella Washington, 89, graduated with an associate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty University in Virginia on Saturday.
She now plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history from the same university, the school reported.
‘She has always been a lifelong learner,’ said Washington’s daughter Ellen Mitchell.
Ella Washington, 89, graduated with an associate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty University in Virginia on Saturday
‘Her desire for learning and for pursuing an education became a family tradition. She taught all of her children how to read, write, and do math prior to their beginning school, just as her grandmother taught her and her siblings.’
As a young mother, Washington moved to D.C. and had a range of jobs from being a custodian at the Pentagon, to being a certified nurse at an adult daycare.
Up until six years ago, she was still working at the daycare.
‘Coming to D.C., there weren’t many opportunities for a poorly educated black woman,’ Mitchell said. ‘But she worked hard doing whatever she could to make sure we were taken care of.’
Washington enrolled in an adult education program where she earned her GED diploma in 1978 when she was 49-years-old.
In 2012, she enrolled at the school’s online program after her daughter convinced her.
‘Liberty is a great university,’ Washington said. ‘I would recommend Liberty to anyone because I did well’
‘Liberty is a great university,’ Washington said. ‘I would recommend Liberty to anyone because I did well.’
The woman loves history and is looking forward to studying the subject in pursuit of her next degree.
‘To me, history is a great subject,’ she added. ‘Everybody should know their history and learn more about it. A lot of people don’t know much about history. There’s nothing wrong with learning more.’
Her daughter states that Washington’s drive pushed Mitchell and her own children to make sure that education was a priority.
Mitchell added: ‘My mother is a remarkable woman. I learned how to be strong because of her example. Now, she has set the bar for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.’
As far as her fellow classmates, the woman has some words of advice on how they should live.
“Education will help you make the best life for yourselves and those who come after you,” she said.