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Former Fordson High School student gets diploma on her 100th birthday

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-05 13:41:08-05

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — The saying goes: It's better late than never.

Jacquelina Barraco, a former Fordson High School student, received an honorary diploma for her 100th birthday back in November.

In the mid-1930s, Barraco and her family – like many American families at the time – were struggling to survive during the Great Depression.

She was in the 9th grade attending Fordson High when her father forced her to quit school and find a job to help support the family, according to a post from Dearborn Public Schools.

Barraco was the eldest of seven children and always regretted not finishing school, said family members.

So her family collaborated with Fordson High School and came up with a special way to celebrate Jacquelina's 100th birthday. They arranged for her to receive an honorary diploma! According to Dearborn Public Schools, Fordson also provided Jacquelina with a 2020 shirt and a graduation cap and tassel.

Fordson Principal Heyam Alcodray officially presented the diploma to her via Zoom on her Nov. 25 birthday. “She was extremely thankful,” Alcodray said.