Published June 28, 2013
A 100-year-old Mexican grandmother finally graduated from elementary school and, following her grandchild's advice, plans to continue her education.
"The best career is education," Manuela Hernandez told Uno TV.
Hernandez was born in the southern state of Oaxaca in June of 1913, the year before World War I began. She had to leave elementary school after just a year to help her poor family with necessary chores around the house.
"My uncle Fernando Campos helped me get into school, but the following year, when I was able to wash and iron, they never let me go to school because they needed me to work," she said, in Spanish.
It was only within the last year that she resumed her studies at age 99, thanks to the advice from her grandchild who pushed her to go back to school.
Hernandez was handed her diploma on Saturday.
The lively grandmother loves classroom lectures and reading newspapers, though the latter has proven to be more difficult over the years.
"The big problem is my eyesight is not as good as it used to be, and there are times where I need glasses to read," she said to the Mexican television station. "Every time I learn something I tell myself, 'now they can't call me dumb'."
Regardless of age, she said ultimately the greatest value of education is "it makes us less ignorant, it civilizes us."