BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Getting a high school diploma is hard enough, but try doing it when you're 84 years old.
Alma Dewey Alexander didn't let age stop her. Ms. Alma had a long career at Keesler and raised a family.
What she didn't do was graduate from high school. That changed on May 20 at First Missionary Baptist Church in Biloxi. She and other graduates were cheered on by the congregation. That diploma is special for her. Ms. Alma expressed, "I was so happy. I was real proud because I have been trying and struggling to try and get it."
A busy life sometimes got in the way of learning. "I had been going different places, working and everything and I didn't have a diploma and I wanted my diploma in my hands," she explained.
Advice along the way guided her. "My mother always told me, when you start something, you could finish it, and you're never too old to go back to school," Ms. Alma said.
Her family is thrilled by her accomplishment. She noted, "I only have one daughter, and she was real proud of me. All of my grandchildren were proud of me."
So is her church family, according to Pastor Eric Dickey. He said, "With her determined to go back and get her high school diploma sent great results as well as enthusiasm in our congregation."
He added there's something else this diploma means, "The message that we sent to all of our young people, listen, education is the key to the career path that they must have in order to survive in this global world that we live in."
As for the future, Ms. Alma says she's concentrating on doing volunteer work, and even hinted that she might give college a try.