Grandmother graduates as valedictorian from Educational Options Program

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — South Philadelphia mother and grandmother, Tywanna Williams, is graduating from South Philadelphia High School’s Educational Options Program on Monday top of the class.

As a mother of two and grandmother of four, Williams is the epitome of perseverance and determination. At 65 years old, she is graduating as valedictorian.

“It’s amazing. It’s very indescribable. I’m so excited and happy that I’m doing this,” Williams said.

Williams worked for years in various industries, including the medical field, as a medical assistant at various local hospitals.

She said she drew her strength for going back to school from her family.

“Going to all of my grandkid’s graduations from high school, seeing my daughter graduate. Just going to multiple graduations,” said Williams.

The Philadelphia School District’s Educational Options Program is specifically for students like Williams who never finished high school. The courses take place in the evenings at three Philadelphia public high schools.

“It shows you it’s never too late to learn. And when there’s an opportunity to take advantage,” said Cameo John with the Educational Options Program.

“She’s a hero, and I’ve told her before. We need heroes, and we need our stories told,” said African-American history teacher Williams Sax.

Williams says had she graduated earlier with her diploma, her dream was to become a nurse. But she is proud of finishing her dream, and now she is ready to travel.

She is currently working on taking her whole family to Disney World.

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