Violet Edwards, 96, of the United States, broke the record for the oldest African-American woman to earn a college degree when she received her diploma from Mercy College in New York.
In addition, Violet Edwards was the fifth-oldest college graduate in the world and the oldest individual in Florida to get a degree.
She was the youngest child in her family and was born in Jamaica in 1925. She was a brilliant student and a voracious reader when she was a young girl.
She was the first person in her area to receive a full academic scholarship and enroll at Jamaica’s Happy Grove High School.
According to reports, during the World War II years, she enrolled for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate which is required of her to proceed with her education.
The exams had to be sent to England for grading, there were concerns that the ship carrying them would become a war casualty, but her exam made it safely to England and she passed.
She enrolled in the College of New Rochelle, New York, United States in the early 1980s but reluctantly left due to financial challenges.
So Edwards joined the workforce in Jamaica and had a successful career in the Jamaica Postal Service, becoming the first female regional inspector to be appointed by the service.
During her career, she focused on her family, ensuring that her daughter went to medical school.
Her daughter, Dr Christine Edwards has as of today, become the medical director of the Florida Perinatal Center, LLC, United States.
After seeing her daughter through higher education, Violet Edwards decided to return to college again while working full time.
She was then faced with another financial challenge that stopped her from achieving her goal.
She therefore decided to continue devoting all her energies to helping her daughter establish a medical practice and helping to raise her grandchildren and set her focus to return to college before her 100th birthday.
Edwards was admitted as a transfer student at Mercy College in New York, but she was only able to transfer 84 of the credits she had previously earned at the College of New Rochelle, New York, therefore she was only able to achieve an Associate of Science degree.
Everything was on pad paper and pencil, although she did some online classes where using a computer, the internet, and a smartphone was required.
She spoke to adjusting to online lessons by saying, “I can’t say I’ve appreciated it, but I’m going along with it.
Thank goodness she has her daughter and son-in-law to keep her connected and aid with any problems. “It was difficult, but I managed to get through it. I wouldn’t quit, she declared.