60 Year Old Attends Virtual School


Written by: Trinity Krouse, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Only around 75 percent of high school students graduate within four years reports DoSomething.org. So, what happens to the other 25 percent? Most will either complete a GED or never finish their schooling, but for a 60 year old woman, Tamera Langston, she decided it wasn’t too late to finish her high school diploma. Last year, she enrolled in the virtual school to finish what she started in 1977, when she entered high school as a freshman.

“[Getting my diploma] is just not a point of sitting in this chair and just being here,” said Langston. “It’s a purpose for me, and I want the other kids to see that if she can do it, as old as she is, and as long as she waited, to be discouraged, to be told that she could never be nothing, she would never amount to anything, [they can too]. I got tired of hearing it, and so when I heard that Basehor [had a] virtual school, I said ‘oh I’m going to go get my diploma. I’m going to go get it.’ [People said] ‘oh you don’t need to get a high school diploma, you can get a GED’; ‘no I want my high school diploma’.”

Originally attending Lafayette High School in St. Joseph, MO, Langston dropped out of high school when she became pregnant at 18 years old. She put her son up for adoption, and then moved around the Kansas City, MO area until she moved to Lansing to take care of her mom in 2005. She now works for the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store.

Now taking her third final at the virtual school, she still has 14 credits before she can graduate. She passed her Government and Health A classes and is preparing to take a life skills final.

“I hung in there and stuck with it,” said Langston. “There [were] times I wanted to give up, quit, but I had some people that backed me up on it [and] gave me encouragement.”

Langston is the oldest student to enroll at the virtual school. As of now, her goal is to graduate by May with the class of 2019.

“I want to do it. If I have to stay here every Monday and Tuesday, on my days off work and stay from whatever time I have to stay, until I get it done,” said Langston. “I want to walk across the stage, with the other students, and say ‘hey I can do this, you can too’. [These are] not sad tears, it’s happy tears.”

Langston still doesn’t know her plans after graduation. She likes to cook and she wants to encourage students to graduate on time.

“I’m not sure currently what I want to do yet,” said Langston. “I just encourage other kids out there that you can achieve anything out there, if you put your mind to it.”