It was a joyous and historical moment at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville City, specifically Town Hill community when 75 years old Grandma Jestina S. Freeman receives her high school certificate and diploma as a proud graduate of the Nathan E. Gibson Memorial Academy.
A mother of nine successful children and many grandchildren, Grandma Jestina stole the entire show on Tuesday, 17 July neatly dressed in green skirt and light green long sleeves blouse with a green and black necktie, as she majestically steps out to receive her high school credential.
Hundreds of eager residents, including family members, well-wishers and flower sellers as well as by-passers who could not make their way into the jam-packed church edifice, stood outside with alert ears as the ceremony continued inside.
It was not too long when the church went vibe with jubilation as Grandma Jestina was called out to receive her medal and diploma, walking majestically on stage with beaming smile.
After the official program, the waiting crowd for several hours fought their way thru family members and photographers to take a glance at the woman who has defied age to pursue and successfully complete secondary education, and joined her for photo shots.
Madam Freemen in an interview expresses heartfelt thanks to God, her husband and the Momo B. Kamara Scholarship for affording her the opportunity to achieve her dream of competing high school.
She admonishes the young generation, especially females not to forsake or downplay educative, stressing that no knowledge is wasted and no one is too old to learn.
“Before, I never knew ABC or talking about identifying it; I could not even read a line in the Bible. One day I took up the challenge, I told myself I can make it and I started going to school but here I am now walking out of the walls of high school,” she proudly narrates.
Grandma Jestina says her life and bold achievement should serve as an example to the young generation that it is never too late to take up an opportunity to better their lives.
One of her biological sons, Assistant Commissioner of Police for In-Service Training at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, Kalemo D. Kayo, says he is filled with joy to see his mother successfully walks out of high school.
Commissioner Kayo explains that his mother has nine living children some of who are in and out Liberia along with scores of grandchildren many of whom are themselves out of high school and in universities.
He says he is very proud of his mother and wants others to emulate her daring courage to achieve.As the convoy carrying Grandma Jestina left the compound of the Effort Baptist Church for her residence where a very big party was being held, onlookers lined the road to see the proud graduate and waive at her for a job well done.
By Ben P. Wesee–Editing by Jonathan Browne