‘Uplifting’ and ‘life-changing’ 67-year-old Renee Carroll graduates from high school

Renee Carroll, 67, was the oldest student in the class that graduated from the Goodwill Excel Center, an adult public charter high school in D.C. established to support adults who never got a high school diploma. (Courtesy Goodwill Excel Center)

67-year-old Renee Carroll was the oldest, and perhaps, the most elated person to graduate from her class at the Goodwill Excel Center in Washington D.C. in January.

Speaking to WTOP, Carroll said, “Returning to school after about 40 years was very hard work. The younger people really rallied around me and carried me through.” She described going back to school as being “uplifting,” “life-changing” and “mountain—moving.”

The Goodwill Excel Center is an adult public charter high school in Washington D. C. which was established in Foggy Bottom in 2016. According to the school’s website, it is the first establishment of its kind in the district. Some of the success stories they have chalked include that of 67-year-old Carroll, a homeless and jobless couple, and two 60-year-olds who were their oldest graduates before Carroll.

'Uplifting' and 'life-changing' 67-year-old Renee Carroll graduates from high school
Photo credit: The Goodwill Excel Center

The adult-centered high school seeks “to transform adult lives through the power of school diplomas and accessing post-secondary education and careers in growing, sustainable local industries.” Its vision is to “build a community where people are empowered to improve their life and family through the achievement of academic and career goals.”

The school’s senior officer, Dawn Rhodes, said “It’s never too late to do anything in life in terms of education. We have quite a population of students coming back to school and deciding that this is something they want to do.” She told WTOP. According to Rhodes, it was a “blessing” to be able to see older adults and younger generations come together and encourage each other.

With a diploma certificate now in hand and the future in mind, the 67-year-old graduate is set and highly motivated to raise the roof on where she’s going.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: May 8, 2023


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