GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A 97-year-old woman has done a lot in her life, but getting her high school diploma was not one of them.

All that changed for the Grand Rapids, Michigan woman. Last week, Margaret Bekema was presented with an honorary diploma from Catholic Central High School.

Margaret was forced to drop out back in 1932. Her mother had died of cancer, and Margaret had to help take care of her younger siblings. This summer, one of Margaret’s relatives contacted the school and told them her story.

The principal says he knew they just had to give her that diploma.

“She said her heart was broken when she dropped out,” said Catholic Central High School Principal Greg Deja.

Margaret teared up while thanking the school.

“How can I express myself?” asked Margaret. “I don’t know how to express the thanks. I’m just plain tickled.”

Despite not getting her diploma, Margaret went on to do clerical work for the armed forces. She even became a preschool teacher.

The school says Margaret is a shining example of what they hope all their graduates to be.


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