Oldest and youngest students graduate from Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College

EL CAJON (KUSI) — The oldest and youngest students graduated from Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College on the same day, proving that learning never gets old. 

According to a story released from Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College, Barbara Sue Adkins, 80, earned a certificate of achievement in Child Development from Cuyamaca College and Hinsseenee Regassa, 17, earned an Associate of Arts in Communications from Grossmont College, making them the oldest and youngest graduates at the two East County colleges.

“All my life, I had dreamed of going to college, but I was raised in a time and place where women weren’t encouraged to get an education,” Adkins said, a former Navy wife from Kentucky who moved to the West Coast when her first husband was transferred to San Diego. “I did what was the norm, which was to get married and have children.”

 Adkins said she was finally able to pursue a college education after she was finished raising six children. She is also grandma to 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She started her coursework in Cuyamaca’s Child Development program in 2010, with an emphasis in preschool education. 

“I loved every minute of going to Cuyamaca,” Adkins said. “There was never a morning I woke up and dreaded going to school. Kids are my passion, especially the ones with special needs.”

Adkins completed the classes for her certificate of achievement with a GPA “somewhere above a 3.0.” Adkins also said when she completes her associate’s degree, she will move on to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Regassa took the California High School Proficiency Exam, which she passed, earning her the equivalent of of a high school diploma at 16. She began taking classes at Grossmont College in Spring 2015. 

After taking the California High School Proficiency Exam, which she passed to earn the legal equivalent of a high school diploma at 16, she began classes at Grossmont College in spring 2015.

“Grossmont has so many resources for students like me, looking to learn more and do great things with their lives,” she said.

Regassa heads to UC Davis this fall on a full-ride scholarship for soccer. 

“I feel very fortunate and grateful to Grossmont College for making it possible for me to work toward achieving my dreams," she said.She majored in communications and plans to do so again at UC Davis, with dreams of a future in professional soccer, music production, photography, and filmmaking.

She already has one film to her credit, a short documentary, “Skin,” in which young black girls share stories as victims of racism. The work was shown in the 2014 San Diego Asian Film Festival.

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