• Last modified 1096 days ago (May 26, 2021)


4 1/2 decades later, she's a Centre grad

Staff writer

Cheryl Ann Sandy is living proof that it’s never too late to learn.

At 61, she has earned a high school diploma after four years of work and study.

The Manhattan native was one of 55 students who completed Centre’s Kansas Online Learning program and one of eight who chose to celebrate her achievement Sunday by attending Centre’s graduation.

Sandy immigrated to the United States from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Sponsored by her husband’s mother, she and her husband received permanent green cards to work in the United States.

She and her husband have since applied to become permanent citizens.

When one of their sons was recruited to play on the soccer team at Manhattan Christian College, the couple moved to Manhattan.

Sandy was told that without a high school degree, she wouldn’t likely get a job. Although she did find work, she decided to pursue a diploma.

“I always loved studying,” she said. “I saw an ad on TV about Centre’s online learning program and decided to enroll.”

It took four years to achieve her goal.

“It was a challenge because I had to finish a subject in one month. It got harder toward the end, and at times I wanted to give up, but I’m not a quitter,” she said.

Sandy said KOLP director Vickie Jirak and student learning advocate Jamie Schrader helped keep her motivated.

Eventually, she developed a fondness for U.S. history and government, and science.

“Oh, yes. I learned so much,” said Sandy, who said she plans keep exploring through learning.

Sandy will keep her job as a shipping clerk for The Master Teacher, a company that provides online learning for professionals and teachers.

“The company provides much opportunity for growth, and I like the area I’m in,” she said. “Because of my age, I’m sticking with it.”

Last modified May 26, 2021