64-year-old twins earn high school diplomas after initial academic setbacks

Francis Akhalbey June 06, 2023
Carol Baker and her twin sister Carolyn Baker-Lowery dropped out of high school about 50 years ago -- Photo Credit: MiraCosta College

Carol Baker and her twin sister, Carolyn Baker-Lowery, were teenagers when they initially dropped out of high school about five decades ago. During that period, the twin sisters faced challenges with regard to schoolwork, saying those setbacks made them feel like “lost causes in the public high school system”, FOX 5 San Diego reported.

The twins eventually enrolled in a continuation high school, but decided to drop out and look for work after they became teen mothers. The sisters, who are now 64, recently earned their high school diplomas from the MiraCosta College Community Learning Center after they were given the necessary help to succeed. 

Carol, who entered the social work profession, said she decided to return to high school decades after dropping out because she wanted a bigger role while she worked as a volunteer at a local childcare development center. 

However, before that decision, Carol was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia after she underwent a medical assessment. MiraCosta College said the diagnosis “armed” Carol “with a better understanding of her needs.”

Disabled service counselors at MiraCosta College also helped create “a personal success plan” for Carol, allowing her to make good use of educational resources she initially did not have, FOX 5 San Diego reported.

“Class after class, she utilized every resource available,” a press release from the college said, per KGTV. “Even when she became fully disabled and her sister Carolyn had to move in to serve as her caretaker, Carol would spend hours on Zoom sessions with her professors until she understood a topic.”

Carolyn also said she noticed her sister was committed to her studies. “At first I thought the girl had lost her mind, but then I couldn’t let her leave me behind,” she said. “I asked what I would need to do to get my diploma too.”

The twins studied together to eventually earn their high school diplomas, and walked across the stage on May 25.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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