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: