Grandma completes university degree at 69, 55 years after elementary school

A 69-year-old woman from the Philippines has completed her university degree, 55 years after she dropped out of school due to financial struggles.

In 1965, Violeta Mendoza completed her elementary school, and just like any other young person at that time, she was ambitious of continuing with her education. However, that was not to be when she was pulled out of school by her father due to a lack of funds.

At just 16 years, she got married to her husband Reynold in 1967, who together had 11 children- two sons and nine daughters. Mendoza and her husband now have 30 grandchildren.

Dream of completing a university degree

Her dream of completing a university degree, however, did not die, and in 2014, she took her first steps in going back to college when she enrolled in an Alternative Learning System (ALS) for her high school certificate since she had not completed her high school. She completed her studies in 2015 after rigorous studying to compensate for the many years she was out of school.

Her dream to complete a university degree, however, was still alive and she set her eyes on getting enrolled in a college. She enrolled at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun) for her degree in Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in Special Education (SPED) in 2016.

At first, she said learning was difficult, due to the number of years she had stayed away from school, and the demanding nature of a university degree. However, she never lost hope and she was assisted by her family through encouragement and sometimes through teaching by one of her daughters, who was also a teacher.


Fast forward to 2020 and she completed her university degree. While talking about her experience, she indicated that she appreciated the help she got from her fellow classmates during her stay at the school. She also thanked her family, who offered her support all way through her university degree studies.

Mendoza was supposed to graduate last month but with coronavirus spreading in the Philippines, the graduation was postponed. However, on July 21st, she was finally able to graduate, surrounded by her family.

Mendoza’s future plans are finding a job in the field she studied in the university. While narrating her experience in the university and how it meant to her, she admitted that the spread of coronavirus in the country has ruined her job hunting.


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