“There will be some tears of accomplishment for sure,” said 99-year-old Agua Dulce native, Doreetha Daniels before she walked across the stage as one of the oldest graduates. Friday June 5, Doreetha walked across the stage at College of the Canyons to receive her Associates Degree in Social Sciences. But why now? And why so late?
Growing up in Nebraska, Doreetha finished attending high school in 1934 and then later on moved to Los Angeles to peruse her dream of becoming a nurse.
She ended up working for the department of aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas. After marrying her husband Robert Daniels they had two sons, and decided to relocate to Agua Dulce.
Doreetha has always been one to engage herself in her community, she was the president of the Agua Dulce Women’s Club and the Agua Dulce Seniors club, and member of the Agua Dulce Seniors Club.
Doreetha had achieved so much in her lifetime, however one thing she never managed to finish was her education. During her lifetime she has been through more than most people have these days; Great Depression, World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany, Civil Rights Movement, the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first African American president, and the rise of technology.
After not being in the classroom for 63 years, in the spring of 2009 she began taking college courses at College of the Canyons extension campus, Canyon Country Campus. Doreetha faced some challenges, tackling subjects like college level algebra, and statistics. As soon as she recognized these challenges she took it upon herself to seek tutors from the Tutoring & Learning Center twice a week before class.
She always had the dream of going to college since she was a little girl. Her final push of inspiration came from her grandchildren after they received their master degrees. “So I said well, I’m not doing anything, I’m tired of my hobbies, so I’m going to go to school,” Daniels said.
Classes, and over 60 hours on an internship, she worked closely with her adviser, and pushed through the ups and downs of being a college student. As if math class wasn’t hard enough, Doreetha later on suffered another challenge, a stroke. “Like most things you roll with the punches.”
Now that she is ninety-nine years old and a college graduate with her Associates of Arts degree in Social Science, she said her next adventure is to travel the world. “I’m just looking forward to tomorrow. There’s something new everyday you can learn, and you meet interesting people. “
photos courtesy CPC Public Information Office