96-Year-Old Woman Enrolls in High School, Wants to Become a Teacher

Guadalupe Palacios is attending high school at age 96.
Guadalupe Palacios wants a diploma before she turns 100.AFP/Getty

Guadalupe Palacios never attended school as a child.

The family of Guadalupe Palacios was so poor that she couldn’t go to school. She was needed in the fields, to help plant and pick the corn and beans that kept them from starving.

For nine decades, she could neither read nor write.

Palacios is now 96. And a high school student. Her dream is to gain a diploma before she turns 100.

On her first day of class, she wore the school uniform of a white polo shirt and a black skirt.

"I feel ready to give it all my all," she said, as her fellow students in the Mexican state of Chiapas applauded her. “Today is a marvelous day.”

Her classmates call her "Dona Lupita."

Guadalupe Palacios in her Chiapas, Mexico, home. - AFP/Getty

In her adult life, she married twice and had six children. She sold chickens in a market and picked up arithmetic, but no other educational skills.

At 92, she decided to learn how to read and write. She joined a literacy program. Then she completed primary and middle school.

“Now I can write letters to my boyfriend,” she told Agence France-Presse.

She attends a public high school with fellow students in their teens. She is taking chemistry, mathematics and dance.

After she graduates, Palacios said she would like to become a kindergarten teacher.