GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – 90-year-old Ellouise Lewis received an honorary GED certificate during a graduation ceremony at Gulfport Care Center on Wednesday.
“I never did get a chance to graduate until this day,” she told WLOX.
Lewis dropped out of school in the 10th grade. Looking back on her 90 years, she said the one thing she wished she had done was finished high school, so the Care Center staff worked to make it happen.
“When they told me here that I could get my GED, I was happy about it. I’m still happy,” she said, crying. “Excuse me, because this makes me happy to know that I can do this.”
When Lewis expressed her desire to finish school to Activity Director Lisa Perdue, she set out to make her wish come true by a little research.
“It’s a blessing to me and to my coworkers to be able to make this happen,” Perdue said.
She reached out to Wells of SouthGate, a Christian-based learning center in Gulfport.
“It was just great to be involved with this,” said Leonard Martin, who presented the certificate.
Lewis became the organization’s first-ever recipient after passing a mock test administered by the group.
Although it is not an official GED, the honorary GED certificate she was presented with illustrates her knowledge and determination to complete SouthGate’s course.
“She’s the first,” her son Greg Lewis said. “She’s pivotal. So, hopefully, it will open doors for others to follow in her footsteps.”
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