Go Girl: 89-Year-Old Mother Of 12 Earns Her College Degree


Ella Washington, an 89-year-old mother of 12, received her associates degree in interdisciplinary studies from American University over the weekend (May 26). The North Carolina native, who dropped out of school when she was in sixth grade to work on her family farm, wanted to make sure she had a proper education for herself after her 12 children grew up.

“She has always been a lifelong learner,” Washington’s daughter Ellen told Liberty News. “Her desire for learning and for pursuing an education became a family tradition. She taught all of her children how to read, write and do math prior to their beginning school, just as her grandmother taught her and her siblings.”

According to AARP, Washington earned her GED diploma at the age of 49. However, her lifelong goal was to receive her college degree. She’s hoping to continue her education by receiving her bachelor’s degree in history at Liberty, which is located in Virginia.

“To me, history is a great subject,” said Washington of her education. “Everybody should know their history and learn more about it. A lot of people don’t know much about history. There’s nothing wrong with learning more. Education will help you make the best life for yourselves and those who come after you.”

Congrats to Ms. Washington on her incredible achievement.