GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – You’re never too old to learn.
Shirley Jones is a student at Pitt Community College working to get her GED. At age 84, she is also one of the newest members of the National Adult Education Honor Society. Shirley said she is proving that there is no timeline to success.
“Well, I’m 84 years old, and it’s something I wanted to do,” Jones said.
She said her first husband is the reason she initially quit school almost 50 years ago, but she couldn’t stay away from her dream forever.
“He kept my nerves all upset so I just gave it up, then I decided I wanted to go back,” Jones said. “After my husband passed away in March, I wanted to go back and finish my GED.”
Now, she’s thriving at PCC.
“She does not let anything stop her, she drives herself here, she comes every day, she’s sharp as a tack and is determined to do what she needs to do to succeed,” said Transitional Studies Coordinator, Belinda “Sissy” Grubbs.
Jones said her favorite professor is her math instructor, Thomas Mizelle. He said Jones’ age is not an obstacle for her in the classroom.
“She overcomes any limitations in that regard with persistence, she loves to take things home and work on them, and tell us about what she does at home, so she makes up for that in large degree,” Mizelle said.
PCC staff said she is a great classmate to her peers. Jones agrees with that.
“Oh yeah they miss me when I’m not there, and when I go back, they’re glad to see me. Oh it feels good, it feels great,” Jones said.
If you’re wondering if Shirley ever thought it was too hard for her to go back after almost 50 years …
“It’s really not, it’s not that hard, it’s just putting your whole mind in it, if you go through the tests and rush through them, you’re not gonna get anything,” Jones said. “But if you take your time, then you can go through it … with flying colors.”
Shirley is set to graduate with her GED in just a few months.