A 65 Year Old Woman Goes Back to School

Athens, GA–Stacks of GED books and tutoring in the Athens First Baptist library was how 65 year old student Barbara Johnson spent the last four years.

“For so many years, for so many years trying to get and that was my goal” said Johnson.

And when she finally reached that goal on September 26th, it was an emotional victory.

“All I could do was cry” exclaimed Johnson.

And it wasn’t only a four year struggle. She’s been trying to go back to school since she dropped out in the 10th grade.

“Then a year later after being married, I tried to go back and passed out. It was just too stressful” explained Johnson.

And the she was hit with another obstacle.

“When I got my divorce it was hard to keep someone to watch the children” Johnson said.

And it didn’t end there. She was also forced to face a life threatening diagnosis.

“I could have given up many times. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Leukemia. It did set me back, but my dream was to get my education.”

Even Barbara’s tutor says that despite the illness, she has the motivation to succeed in college.

“She’s got this great drive, but I think that the chemo has worked hard on her brain and so that’s probably been the biggest obstacle. Certainly energy is not one of them” explained Dr. Jane Russell.

But getting her GED was the first and most important step on her to a degree.

“My goal was always to get my education. I wanted my GED so badly. So it took me 48 years but, I got it!”


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