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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

It’s Never Too Late

July 11, 2013
While other retirees may be slowing down, Shirlene is more productive than ever.

Shirlene Williams is defying all social boundaries. While many of her fellow senior citizen peers were turning their focus to retirement, Shirlene choose to return to school.

After 28 years of working for the Department of Justice, Shirlene decided to pursue her interest in Pharmacy Technology (PT). She found her way to SJVC through an ad in the Penny Saver. When she walked in she felt that there was something unique about the atmosphere.

“Hey I like this!” she recalls saying to herself.

Shirlene believes people should do more once reaching a retirement age rather than slow down, and she is determined to do just that!

Although she never planned on going back to school this late in life, Shirlene is confident in her decision. It is noticeable in her voice that she truly feels that this is a terrific decision.

“I hadn’t really planned on it [going back to school],” Shirlene says, “It was just something that came upon me. I was sitting down one day and my mind was working on something; I needed something to do!”

As Shirlene prepares for her first set of finals, she is confident in her future here at SJVC Lancaster. Although she is an independent learner, she is comforted (and taken aback!) by the assistance that is always available.

“Everyone is so friendly. When I walk in the door and they greet me instantly with a “Hi!” It takes me aback because people at other places aren’t like that. The staff is people you want to help you,” says Shirlene.

Shirlene hopes her decision to go back to school will encourage others to go against the norm of society and do something different that will benefit both themselves and others in the community.

“Listen to yourself, listen to your heart, do what you want to do. You’re going to school for yourself and to make things better for the community and the people,” Shirlene advises.

Shirlene ‘s confidence is an inspiration to all people contemplating the choice of returning to school, no matter what their age.

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