A 92-year-old Black woman from South Carolina is living proof that it’s never too late to bring your goals to fruition. Annie Dillard’s passion for education has led her to complete her fourth college degree, which she received on Wednesday, WLTX19 reported.
She earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Midlands Tech in Columbia, the news outlet writes. Dillard grew up at the peak of the Civil Rights era in Prosperity, South Carolina. She recounts seeing things like “Whites Only” signs and the imagery has been embedded in her mind to this day. Coming of age in a community plagued by racism and inequality was extremely challenging but she used her circumstances as motivation to push forward and strive for greatness in life.
After earning her bachelor’s degree decades ago, she stepped into the realm of entrepreneurship and opened up her own hair salon. Although her business has been successful, she always wanted something more out of life and found contentment in continuing her education. She hopes that her journey illustrates that age isn’t anything but a number and inspires people to chase after their dreams. “[The youngsters] say they have great inspiration and they say they’re gonna tell mom and get mom to start school,” Dillard told the news outlet.
At the graduation, she was the first graduate to walk across the stage. During the ceremony, she also awarded teenagers from Midlands High School who received certificates for taking college courses. According to WLTX19, Dillard doesn’t plan on stopping her educational journey any time soon. She’s going to pursue her fifth degree in Early Childhood Education.
There are many individuals displaying #BlackExcellence in the realm of academia like Dillard. According to Atlanta Black Star, 68-year-old Theresa Lyles earned her bachelor’s degree along with her 22-year-old granddaughter from Tennessee State University.