70-year-old woman graduates from Pellissippi State

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One woman is showing that you don’t have to be fresh out of high school to get a college degree.

Seventy-year-old Deborah Bonds just graduated from Pellissippi State Community College.

She says she’s always dreamed of going to college, but back in the 1960s her parents wouldn’t let her go back to her Alabama high school for her junior year, because it was going to be integrated.

“My parents – they made me quit school. As a child, I wanted to be a teacher and I knew of course I would have to go to college to do that. Just always in my mind from the time I was about nine or 10 years old that I would go to college. No one else in my family has ever attended a university.”

Deborah Bonds

Bonds adds that when she was 63, her husband asked her if there was anything she ever wanted to do that she hadn’t done yet. Eventually, she learned about the Tennessee Reconnect Program and got her degree.

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