96-Year-Old Woman Becomes Oldest Black American To Graduate From College

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A Jamaican woman has become the oldest African American to earn a college degree and the fifth oldest university grad in the world, Caribbean National Weekly reports.

At 96 years old and counting, Violet Edwards graduated from Mercy College in New York on Saturday (June 25).

The Jamaican-born graduate was the first in her village to attend school at Happy Grove High School on a full-ride scholarship.

Edwards went on to successfully complete her Senior Cambridge exams, known today as the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, which was a requirement to pursue higher education.

However, at the time, higher education was not accessible to Edwards due to its hefty cost, so she entered the workforce in Jamaica.

The now-96-year-old moved to America with her family to pursue better opportunities after a long career with the Jamaica Postal Service.

Once her daughter successfully made it through medical school, Edwards decided to focus her efforts on going back to school.

It would take multiple attempts as Edwards struggled to work full-time and attend school, but she was finally able to complete all of the necessary credits to graduate.

Edwards earned an Associate of Science degree from Mercy College on Saturday, finishing off her academic career with a 4.0 GPA.

Outside of school, Violet is a devout volunteer who started the neighborhood block association in New York City, which was recognized by the then-mayor for its achievements in the community.

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