Guadalupe Palacios isn’t your typical high school student. And that’s because she hopes to finish her education by the time she turns 100.
The 96-year-old woman started her basic education at 92. Up until then, she picked up some arithmetic, but she had never learned to read and write.
At 96, Mexican grandma Guadalupe Palacios fulfills her dream of finishing high school, finally learning how to read and write so she can 'write letters to her boyfriends' @AFP https://t.co/J7UKyPcvrk pic.twitter.com/evmFVvCYYL— Hazel Ward (@WardieJerusalem) April 19, 2018
Growing up in poverty, the woman lived in an indigenous village in Mexico as a child, helping at her family’s corn and bean farm. Instead of studying, she worked.
Then later, as an adult, she went on to marry twice, sell chickens at the market, and raise six children.
After enrolling in a literacy program, she had a dream of finishing school by the time she reached 100. While she completed both primary and middle school in four years, she didn’t have access to an adult school program in the region that would get her through high school. Instead of giving up, she enrolled in a public high school.
At the educational facility where she now takes classes, everyone calls her “Dona Lupita.” At the beginning of High School Number 2, she was even welcomed with applause from her classmates.
"I feel ready to give it my all. Today is a marvelous day," she said on her first day back to school while wearing the school uniform as well as a pink sweater.
She said that now that she can read and write and that she can write letters to her boyfriends, she is looking beyond high school. She told reporters she wants to be a kindergarten teacher.
We sure hope she manages to both fulfill her dream of completing high school by 100 and giving back by teaching young children. With so much energy at 96, it’s clear that there’s no stopping her.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters/Alonso Castillo