When a severe flu pandemic closed the doors of Lela Burden’s high school 96 years ago for a time, she decided to work two jobs and just never went back. Securing a high school diploma was an achievement the 111-year-old had always wanted to accomplish and now her dream has materialized. Burden was the proud recipient of a high school diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Va., on Tuesday as she was honored at the school’s graduation ceremony, reports WTKR.
Burden was just a baby when the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk in 1903. She was in elementary school at the start of World War I in 1914. When the country’s finances went topsy-turvy during the Great Depression, which began in 1929, Burden was just a young woman in her mid-20s.
Burden, whose memory has not been clouded by the effects of the aging process, still remembers the high school she attended back in 1918. Even though she left school at the young age of 15, Burden tried to continuously sharpen her mind by reading the newspaper every day, a habit that at 111-years-old she still practices. She also tries to learn something new every day as well.
Therefore, the supercentenarian, who is in a wheelchair, applauded herself as she gleefully accepted her long, long, long-awaited diploma.
Watch Lela Burden’s story here:
The Norfolk resident, who has lived in the southern city for some 107 years, now lives at a transitional care hospital. Last year on her 110th birthday, Burden was feted by her city with the county’s top politicos, family members, and various entrepreneurs who all gathered to honor her on the milestone birthday. On her birthday, May 7th, the city even proclaimed the event “Lela Burden Day.”
Burden, who according to her only truly started living life at age 90 when she began traveling with her senior group, even competed in the Senior Olympics when she was 100-plus years young. Despite her mileage, Burden does not think she is ancient at all, au contraire, she told WTKR at her 111th birthday party this past May, “I’m not old yet; I’m still a young lady!”
That’s right Burden, age ain’t nothing but a number! Congratulations!
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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