Congratulations to all the 2012 Alpena Community College graduates this week, but special kudos to 79-year-old "Grandma" Jean Kroll.
Kroll certainly isn't what many would consider a typical college student, but neither is her story unlike others who also attend ACC classes. The beauty of an institution like ACC is that not only does it provide a solid learning experience for regional students transitioning from high school to college, but it also provides great opportunities for older, "non-traditional" students to retrain, with the goal of finding a new career after graduation.
Classrooms certainly aren't unfamiliar to Kroll, as most days she can be found at Lincoln Elementary School as one of the "grandmas" there. She hopes the completion of her ACC degree will show her elementary students the importance of education, and that learning is a life-long adventure.
"For me, it's all about the kids," she said in a newspaper story this week. "I think it is important for kids to know older people care, and they know I do."
Kroll's story is an inspiration to all of us that no matter one's age, no matter one's experiences, dreams still can be pursued and life's goals still can be attained.
We're fortunate to have a quality community college like ACC in our region. Because we do, stories of hope and perseverance - like that of Kroll - can still come true.