Barbara Stanley has lived a full life, though, perhaps not the life she intended: Growing up during the Great Depression, she put her ambitions on hold as she helped her sisters raise their kids, then got married early in her 20s.
Originally, Stanley intended to become a physical education teacher; instead, she raised a big family, giving birth to 17 children – eight boys and nine girls.
She never earned her high school diploma – something her granddaughter Sheri McFarland thought she should rectify. McFarland reached out to Salt Lake City's West High School, where her grandmother had attended school, to see if something could be done.
"It was extraordinary the circumstances she was in and why she had to leave school," Jared Wright, the West High School principal, told FOX 13 Now. He explained that many students dropped out during each world war.
However, the administration was willing to help out a former student.
"Once a panther, always a panther," Wright said.
After a few months, Wright received a package in the mail. She cried when she opened it and discovered a high school diploma, making her a graduate of the class of 2021.
She even received a cap and gown for the graduation, allowing her to enjoy the full graduation experience, according to FOX 13 Tampa Bay.
"Oh my goodness, it’s gorgeous," Stanley said. "Now can you take me to the prom? I never had a prom dance!"