McComb woman gets GED at age 80

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2000

WESSON — As the saying goes, “it’s never too late to learn,”and Annie Louise Sinclair is the prime example of that oldadage.

The 80-year-old McComb woman was among 27 students who receivedtheir General Equivalency Diplomas Tuesday during graduationceremonies at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

“It’s just a great day. I had all the support from my family andeverybody at Co-Lin,” Sinclair said as she was being surrounded byfriends and others wishing her congratulations.

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Although she married at age 14 and has survived cancer, heartsurgery and a light stroke, Sinclair admitted to being a littlenervous when she went back to class to pursue her GED. But, shequickly found a way to adjust.

“I told them, ‘I’m in my second childhood. I’m one of y’all,'”Sinclair said.

Sinclair stays active and works 20 hours a week in Co-Lin’sSenior AIDES program. Co-workers and program officials helpedpersuade Sinclair to go back and get her GED, said director BrendaBrown.

Brown described Sinclair as a “great lady.”

“We always knew she could do it. She just needed a littleencouragement,” Brown said.

First Lady Melanie Musgrove, the featured speaker for thegraduation, also praised Sinclair.

“We’re never too old to try something, and she’s a prime exampleof that,” Musgrove said. “She set a goal and achieved it..”

In her remarks, Musgrove congratulated graduates on theirachievement and expressed appreciation to their family members andfriends for their support in the GED endeavor. The first ladyencouraged graduates to not let the world intimidate them and tostay true to their convictions.

Dr. Howell Garner, Co-Lin president, said he was proud of allthe graduates. He indicated Sinclair’s was not the only interestingstory in the class.

“There’s a personal story with every one of them: the personalsacrifices, the things they’ve given up and the discipline theyneeded to come back and do something,” Garner said.

Garner said getting their GEDs had opened doors for thegraduates, such as the ability to go to college or pursue othergoals. As the ceremony came to a close, Garner posed for pictureswith a few of the graduates and offered his congratulations.

“You can’t help but be enthusiastic and excited about theiraccomplishments,” Garner said.