Opa-locka woman graduates with high school diploma 30 years later

OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida woman received her diploma decades after starting high school. She proved it’s never too late to achieve a dream.

For Jackie McCall, getting to graduation day took encouragement, sacrifice, tears and dedication. Her high school graduation is a milestone moment that took nearly 30 years. “Thank God I made it to this day,” she said.

In 1987, McCall was forced to trade her high school diploma dreams for diapers and baby formula. “I gave birth to my third child and I didn’t go back,” she said.

She had a full-time job at the Homestead Air Reserve Base and McCall said over the years, life found ways to get in the way of going back to school. It was her family, her husband and her dedication that pushed her to get her diploma. “Thank God I did,” she said. “It was hard, but I did it.”

“I’ve been pushing for her for quite some time now and she’s finally made it,” said McCall’s husband Navada Brantley. “This is the day.”

On Friday morning, the 46-year-old walked on graduation day and accepted her diploma at Faces Learning Academy, a school that offers a high school completion regardless of age.

“Look at the transcript, how old it is, and they have to take the classes which they need to meet the State of Florida requirements,” said Gregory Davis with Faces Learning Academy. “They do it at their own pace.”

McCall, a mother of six and a grandmother, is also passing on a lesson. “It’s never too late,” she said.

Her next step is to find a way to go to college. “She can’t go to college without me,” said a family member.

McCall is one of the first to complete this process at the Faces Learning Academy, but she won’t be the last. Five other adults are enrolled and are back in school to get their high school diploma.

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