At 52, Woman Earns UCLA Undergraduate Degree with Honors

In a first-person account in Huffington Post Black Voices, Teresa A. Pitts of Los Angeles details the personal challenges she endured before returning to college in 2005 some 26 years after dropping out of school. In May, the 52-year-old Pitts graduated with honors from the University of California at Los Angeles. Pitts’ decision to return to school resulted in part from her desire to honor the memory of her deceased older brother and mother. She is currently planning to attend law school and is studying for the LSAT exam.

Pitts recalls that she “worked a number of jobs in L.A. before I quit a job I had for 15 years in financial services to go back to school in 2005. I thought about my brother [Greg] because he had gone to law school and he did not finish, not because he didn’t want to but because he died. He didn’t get to realize his dream and it was a shame because he was brilliant. And here I was throwing away education frivolously. So when I went back in 2005, I was determined. I thought about Greg often, any time I got tired or lazy. I would say, ‘You don’t even have a right to do that. He was in a wheelchair and he still managed to go to law school!’ I told people I was going to graduate or die.”

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