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88-Year-Old Great Grandmother Graduates from College

Mariam Cheshire proves that you're never too old to follow your dreams. The 88-year-old just became the oldest graduate in Phoenix College history.

The great grandmother and a retired travel agent started taking college classes when she was 17, but family and work got in the way of completing her degree.

“It really does feel wonderful,” the recent graduate told KPHO. “I accomplished something. I did it and it was not easy.”

Over the years, she watched her son, grandson, and three great-granddaughters graduate from Phoenix College. Her family wasn't surprised when she decided it was her turn.

“She’s 88 years old,” said great-granddaughter Tia Cheshire. “She works out at the YMCA, just got back from a cruise in Hawaii. She has so much energy. She’s living life.”

Last Thursday, Cheshire was the guest speaker at the Laura Danieli Senior Activity Center, where she hopes to inspire other seniors to follow their dreams, just like she did, taking one last class to get a college diploma.

One 74-year-old was so inspired, she’s already planning to go back to school.

“I can do with my life what I enjoy, and what means something to me,” said Cheshire.

The great-grandmother has already written one book called “The Alternate Safe World of Sanctuary,” and is hoping to write another.

So, when in doubt - be like Mariam.


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