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Sunday, April 14, 2024

76-year-old woman bags bachelors degree at US university, sets record as first graduate in her family

A 76-year-old woman named Shirley Fuller has graduated from North Carolina Central University, United States with a bachelors degree, making history as the first graduate in her family.

Shirley obtained her bachelors degree in behavioral and social sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She is the first in her family to graduate with a four-year college degree as reported with ABC-11.

“Praise the Lord. It means everything to me. Because my children know I’m not a quitter,” she said. Shirley’s feat comes six years after she earned an associate’s degree from Wake Technical Community College.

She stated that her graduation was followed by a huge stumbling block that could have caused her to close the doors on her educational pursuits altogether. Shirley said in 2018, her house was destroyed in an accidental fire, causing her to lose almost everything.




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Despite the tragedy, Shirley said the only thing that survived was one of her textbooks which became a symbol of her perseverance. “I lost everything I owned, except one object. And that was my textbook from Wake Tech,” she said.

”And I said to God, ‘There is a reason that this textbook survived this fire. I struggled. I grieved. I cried. I raised hell with myself when I needed to. But we don’t know what steps God has for us,” she added.

Shirley said she plans to be a beacon of hope as she is a survivor of drug addiction, depression, and sexual assault. She added that she hopes to use her degree to the benefit of others by opening a non-profit recovery facility to support women who struggle with addiction.


“I want to help other women who I know have been through worse situations than I did,” she said. Shirley added that she plans to establish her recovery facility while obtaining a master’s degree in public administration simultaneously.

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