They both attend the same church and sing in the alto section of the choir. They recently graduated from college on the same day, but from different universities.
Ramona Pratt is 59 and Angela Gail Lattimore is 64 years old.
I asked Ms. Pratt how long did it take to get her degree and what inspired her to achieve this lofty goal so late in life?
“It took me eight years to get my Associate's degree and two years to get my Bachelor's degree for a total of 10 long years.
I could feel the emphasis on the “10 long years!”
“Just wanting to better myself was the main thing that motivated me, not to mention my family and friends that encouraged me in more ways than they will ever know,” she proudly expressed.
Her Associate’s degree is from Chattanooga State in Business Administration and her Bachelor’s degree from Bryan College is also in Business Administration with a concentration in HR Management.
“Just to add a note: I also wanted to be an encouragement to my grandchildren and others to let them know that you are never too old to learn or to achieve your goals in life,” she said.
Ms. Pratt’s daughter-in-law posted on Facebook: “Ramona Pratt, congratulations on your great accomplishment of receiving your Bachelor's degree tonight. My mother-in-law held a full-time job, woke up 4 days a week to help get my kids to school at 5:00 am daily, and managed to graduate Cum Laude. We are so proud of you!”
“Lastly,” she says, “I want to say to anyone who works for a company that offers the tuition reimbursement benefit to take advantage of it!”
In a four-year span Ms. Angela Lattimore achieved her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration from Belhaven University.
As a single parent, she became a Licensed Customs Broker in the international business field. Although she had been successful and earned a decent salary, she found that not having a degree was a hindrance in her quest for advancement in the importing company she worked for.
“I decided to return to school so that I can be more competitive in the workforce,” she said.
“Another matter of importance is because I have grandchildren who look up to me and I didn't want them to think that just because I was able to sufficiently provide for my family without an education they can do the same,” she said. “It is vitally important that they get an education because things are much different in the age of technology than in the past.”
“My role model is an awesome lady by the name of Ms. Juanita Foster, who teaches in the Hamilton County Schools. She is well past the age of retirement but she keeps going. I have plans for my future, but I am always cognizant that God is in control and might make some changes, but I am excited to see what the future holds,” Ms. Lattimore concluded.
Ms. Lattimore also took advantage of her employer’s tuition assistant program.