62ºF

82-year-old woman finishes high school education after 68-year-long break from school

TOMBALL, Texas – Graduates of the Lone Star College, Tomball campus, high school equivalency course recently walked across the stage to receive their certifications. While it’s certainly a highlight for many of them for one of the graduates it is a lifetime goal.

Eileen Allen has done many things in her life. Learn piano, raise three children, and, as of last week, finish her high school education.

It’s an education that began 68 years but shortly after starting high school in Tomball, “My husband proposed to me and I just couldn’t turn him down and so we married in 1950,” says Eileen.  “In September I went back to school and finished that year.”

However soon after that “There was a little baby on the way and so the baby was more important than school,” says Eileen.

Two more children followed and life happened.

“It always concerned me that I had not finished my high school education,” says Eileen. “It troubled me. I would even dream about it at night, you know. I just would dream that I was trying to find my class, couldn’t find my books, where was my assignment, all these things.”

So why now at age 82, you ask?

“One day I was visiting with a friend and she challenged me to finish,” says Eileen.

Lots of classes, and homework, and studying later, Eileen faced four finals. I think most of us know this feeling:

“I passed! Haha!”

What’s more, she was asked to be the student speaker at graduation.

“I think I know how those football players feel when they make a touchdown. I wanted to do a victory dance, I was so excited,” said Eileen during graduation.

She even has a bit of advice for anyone else who hasn’t finished high school.

“Everybody needs that education. You know in this day and time just a high school education is almost not enough,” says Eileen. “I would say don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give up.”

Eileen plans to return to the classroom. Though she isn’t going to pursue a full college degree, she does plan to take some college level courses in history.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.