99-year-old woman graduates from College of the Canyons in Valencia

VALENCIA, Calif. -- Among the many wide-eyed young graduates at College of the Canyons in Valencia Friday was 99-year-old Doreetha Daniels.

"There's no better example of endurance than Doreetha Daniels who resolved to get her college degree before her 100th birthday," said Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook.

Daniels, who graduated with an associate's degree in social science, is the oldest graduate in the college's history. Her graduation was filled with cheers, tears and inspiration.

"I just want to say thanks to the many people who helped me and who inspired me to keep on going, and at 99 here I am," Daniels said.

It took Daniels seven years to finish, taking a few classes at a time beginning in 2009. There were challenges, including a tough time in algebra.

"She had a couple of strokes, she lost her driver's license, but she still persevered and she's always been an inspiration to everybody in the family," said Daniels' son, Robert.

Her family made sure Daniels got to school, especially for her 99th birthday party in April.

"I'm really glad I graduated with her. It's awesome," graduate Michael Kirst said.

From the Great Depression, World War II, the civil rights movement and the moon landing, Daniels has lived through it all.

"Don't give up, do it, and don't let anybody discourage you... Do it for yourself," Daniels said.
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