A 97-year-old Michigan woman, Margaret Thome Bekema finally received her high school diploma, 80 years after she was forced to drop out. Last week, Margaret received an honorary diploma from Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids. The school honored her as an alumna of 1936 with a Certificate of Membership to the school’s alumni association “The Pride.”
Margaret chose to drop out of high school when her mother was stricken with cancer and she had three younger siblings to care for. Her father couldn’t do it alone so he needed Margaret to step in and be an adult while other girls her age were going to dances and giggling about boys.
“She said her heart was broken when she dropped out and today was just a small part to lift that heart,” Catholic Central principal Greg Deja said. “After all of these years, representing all of the core values for which our school stands, we proudly recognize Margaret with an official honorary diploma.”