Categories: Success StoryWomen

Virginia: 102-year-old granny finally earns a college degree after dropping out at 20

Sarah Simpkins has come a long way to earn her college degree and can finally cross it off her bucket list. Despite being 102 years old, Simpkins walked the stage with her granddaughter Halimah Shepherd-Crawford during Brightpoint Community College’s Early Childhood Education graduation on May 13.

As her granddaughter wheeled her down the platform to pick up her certificate, the grandmother was met with applause and a standing ovation.

She told 12 On Your Side, “I feel very wild. I feel very grateful to God for letting me do whatever I do. Thank you, God.”

Simpkins, who quit Allen University in Columbia at age 20 after becoming pregnant, had long yearned to return to school. She had twelve children during that period as she concentrated on expanding her family. Still, she never lost sight of her purpose.

As she prepared to graduate, the centenarian told the publication in December 2023 that even though she was 101 years old, she still felt like 42.

Her proud granddaughter remarked, “I can’t even express my emotions right now. It was all an idea and we’re here now. And I’m just so excited for my grandmother that she accomplished what she wanted.”

Meanwhile, Simpkins credits her success to God, saying, “It’s something that I had to do. I’m very, very grateful that God has enabled me to do this.”

Dollita Okine

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