Skooter reporting 06/08/12
I heard lots of odd reports about senior citizens getting high school diplomas and college degrees in law, medicine, education, etc. at ages from 50 to 70s. But this one graduate from Ohio got her high school diploma at 97. She could be the oldest, the most senior I ever heard receiving such honor. Amazing!
Here’s the story of Ann Colagiovanni, 97 years old, a resident from Ohio.
Back in 1930s, during the Depression era, Colagiovanni quit school at the age of 17, to work in her father's business. She never returned to finish her education but instead became a student of life. She worked at the family store until it closed in the 1960s. She got hitch and begot two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Emilia Colagiovanni Vinci, Ann’s daughter told Fox 8 Cleveland that when she informed her mother that she was getting a diploma, the 97 year old mother cried as if a spine had been pulled out from her heart. She added, she never knew what it meant to her. She wanted it.
During the Depression, according to Emilia, work was more important than an education. But to the 97 year old lady receiving a diploma certainly appeared important to her.
At a special ceremony at Shaker Heights High School, the oldest member of the class of 2012 appears in the news video in a white cap and gown as she was handed over with an honorary diploma in her name, dated June 1934. Ann Colagiovanni tearfully said, "Finally, I'm going to be a graduate.”
That’s not the only great event, in fact, grandma Ann isn't the only graduate this year: Thomas Vinci, her grandson, will also receive a diploma from the suburban Cleveland high school one day after his grandmother.
"She did what her father wanted her to do, even though she wanted to graduate. She put her father, her family, before herself,” Emilia Colagiovanni Vinci said.
Seventy-eight years later, Ann Colagiovanni eventually put herself foremost.
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