79-year-old grandmother graduating from college

- A Maryland woman is showing that it’s never too late to get your degree. Lucy Johnson, a 79-year-old grandmother, is graduating from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management.

Her journey towards her college degree actually began back in 1962 when she attended Morgan State University in Baltimore. She went there for several years, but put her studies on hold to start a family with her husband James. They ended up having three sons together – all of them college graduates.

“After they graduated from college, my oldest son decided to give me a computer,” Johnson recalled. “Well, it's time for me to go back. That’s what I said. It's time for me to go back and get my degree.”

After retiring from her job in the federal government in 2009, she enrolled at the University of Maryland University College in their online program.

The itch to return to school came after seeing her friends and former classmates at Morgan State.

“They stayed there and completed their course there and that encouraged me,” Johnson said. “I said I want to go back and do the same thing.”

There were a few obstacles Johnson had to overcome in her new path in life. Johnson learned that she would not be able to transfer the credits she earned from Morgan State over to UMUC. Even though she was given a computer by her son, she was not the most computer-savvy. But that did not stop her from reaching her goal.

For anyone else considering going back to college after long absence, Johnson would encourage it.

“You might need a tutor at times,” she said. “I think it’s a very good [idea]. That's what you want to do. I was determined. That's what I wanted to do.”

So what's next for this talented grandmother? She's not quite sure. She said she didn't think she needs another job. However, UMUC has contacted her about pursuing her master’s degree.

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