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This Woman and Her Grandmother Just Graduated From the Same College at the Same Time

Belinda and Karea Berry may be separated in age by 37 years, but when it comes to getting an education they’re on the same page. 

Karea, 25, celebrated her college graduation in a special way on Thursday when she walked the same aisle as her 62-year-old grandmother Belinda to receive her diploma from Chicago State University, ABC 7 reports. This is the first time in the university’s 150-year history that a grandmother and granddaughter graduated in the same class. 

“It was never planned, we both enrolled in school and we didn't know we were going to finish together because I was full-time and she was part-time, and it just worked out that way,” Karea said. 

Take Action: Tell Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister That Education Cannot Wait

Belinda, the grandmother, graduated top of her class and now plans to pursue a master’s degree in business, according to the report. 

Her granddaughter Karea also plans to pursue a master’s degree, but in the field of mental health counseling. 

"I just feel so thankful to the Lord,” Belinda said in a press release. “I’ve been sick over the last two years. Still I managed to take care of my 86-year-old uncle and, I also still managed to study and finish college. It’s just a blessing.”

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development enshrine quality education as one of 17 requisites for ending extreme poverty by 2030, and call for “equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.” You can join us and take action on this issue here

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The number of adults above the age of 35 who are enrolled in US degree programs has increased significantly since 1970, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 1970, just 767,000 adults aged 35 and over were enrolled in a degree-granting postsecondary institution. By 2013, that number had increased to over 3 million. 

Other statistics show that nearly two in five students enrolled in higher education are above the age of 25. 

Older students require a different set of services than younger ones, including the option of taking accelerated classes, weekend and night classes, and financial aid assistance, according to a 2009 study, “Hindsight, Insight, Foresight: Understanding Adult Learning Trends to Predict Future Opportunities,” that appeared in the journal EducationDynamics.  

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But students like Belinda are showing that making this happen can be possible, no matter what your age is. 

“I have always stressed that education is power,” she said. “I am very honored to be a role model and I hope that I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it is never too late to pursue an education.”