They say you're never too old to pursue your dreams.
Last week, 89-year-old Ella Washington proved this saying to be true, by earning an associate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty University, Virginia.
According to a press release on the institution's official website, Washington worked tirelessly throughout her life to put her 12 children through school.
She worked full-time alongside looking after her family, yet she never relinquished her desire to gain a formal education of her own; now, she's planning to return and work towards a bachelor's degree in History.
When she was young, Washington dropped out of school in the sixth grade; yet, her daughter reveals, it never deterred her from teaching her own children important skills.
Daughter Ellen Mitchell recalls:
She has always been a lifelong learner. Her desire for learning and for pursuing an education became a family tradition.
She taught all of her children how to read, write and do math prior to their beginning school, just as her grandmother taught her and her siblings.
Over the years, Washington has undertaken several job roles which range from janitor to nursing assistant at an adult daycare.
She moved to Washington D.C. as a young mother and continued working until she was in her early 80s before quitting, and using her newly-earned free time to enrol in Liberty's online program.
Her work ethic undeniably set a strong example for her daughters; in her statement, Mitchell continues:
Coming to D.C, there weren't many opportunities for a poorly educated black woman, but she worked hard doing whatever she could to make sure we were taken care of.
Mitchell also told indy100 that her mother never took a GED test and attended classes as an adult learner, picking up where she stopped in the sixth grade so many years before.
Washington isn't the only woman to recently prove that education has no age limit; just a few weeks ago, 92-year-old Annie Dillard collected her fourth degree after years of studying.
Like Washington, she also plans to return to education.