88-year-old great-grandmother graduates from Arizona college

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88-year-old great-grandmother Mariam Cheshire is about to become one of the oldest graduates in Phoenix College history.

Phoenix, AZ (KPHO) — You’re never too old to follow your dreams — that’s the message from a Valley college student getting ready for graduation.

But Mariam Cheshire is not your average student.

The 88-year-old great-grandmother is about to become one of the oldest graduates in Phoenix College history.

“It really does feel wonderful,” said Cheshire. “I accomplished something. I did it and it was not easy.”

The retired travel agent said that she started taking college classes when she was 17, but family and work always got in the way of completing her degree.

Over the years, Cheshire watched her son, grandson, and three great-granddaughters graduate from Phoenix College.

Now, it’s her turn, and her family is not surprised.

“She’s 88 years old,” said great-granddaughter Tia Cheshire. “She works out at the YMCA, just got back from a cruise in Hawaii. She has so much energy. She’s living life.”

Cheshire was the guest speaker Thursday at the Laura Danieli Senior Activity Center, where she hopes to inspire other seniors to follow their dreams, just like she did, taking one last class to get a college diploma.

“When people tell you not to believe in your dreams – that you can’t make it – when they say why bother – then you can say why not,” said Cheshire.

One 74-year-old was inspired so much, she’s already planning to go back to school.

“I can do with my life what I enjoy, and what means something to me,” said Cheshire.

The great-grandmother has already written one book called “The Alternate Safe World of Sanctuary,” and is hoping to write another.

Cheshire will attend Phoenix College’s graduation ceremony on Friday evening.

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