If students of today need to remember something about education, it’s the one thing that no one can take away. That inspirational quote from B. B. King has stood the test of time, so has the 87-year-old great-grandfather from Minnesota who has finally received his high school diploma.
During the Great Depression, a young Jack Long was forced to leave school to support his struggling family. He was entering the ninth grade when he was forced to drop out. Finally, more than 70 years later, he proudly held in his hands a long-awaited high school diploma.
A surprise ceremony in honor of Long’s accomplishment was done at Minnesota New Country School in Henderson. Jami Weber, his granddaughter, gave a speech to the audience which said:
“As a child growing up during the Great Depression and the aftermath, Grandpa learned at a very early age to work and to work hard. No amount of work could satisfy the yearning he had to learn and to be well education.”
Weber was so proud of her grandfather as she added, “Grandpa is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known.” She then mentioned a joke, “I’m quite certain he could pass any college entrance exam, as long as it wasn’t on a computer. He’s a virtual history book on legs.”
As soon as Weber learned about charter school, she instantly thought about her grandpa. She knew that the project-based style of learning would be the best for him.
What’s admirable about Long is how Weber described his passion for learning. “Not having the opportunity to attend formal educational settings in high school years, he taught himself through as much reading as possible.”
Long didn’t realize that a special event was set for him at the school. He was told it would only be a campus tour and lunch. “What a surprise. That meant a great deal to me,” described the grandpa after the event.