By Annette Lawless
Shaker Heights, OH (WJW/CNN) - One Ohio woman missed her opportunity to finish high school. Now, at age 97, the grandmother was finally given the chance to don a cap and gown.
Most seniors wait four years for the cap and gown, but for Anna Colagiovanni, it took a bit longer.
"Just incredible. The people that came, it just really touched my heart," said Anna's daughter, Emilia Colagiovanni Vinci.
Anna was only 17-years-old when she quit high school to work at her father's meat market.
"It was the Depression years. Working was more important than getting your education," said Emilia.
Anna ended up working at the store for decades. She married and had two daughters, but even at 97-years-old there's something she always wanted.
"You're gonna have your diploma now, mom," said Emilia.
Now her alma mater, Shaker Heights High School, is giving her that dream.
"It is my great honor to present this diploma to you and you'll see it's June of 1934, that's when we believe that would be appropriate date," said Mark Freeman, the Shaker Heights District Superintendent.
"Oh my name is there," said Anna.
Anna feels as if it's a piece of heaven, something her dad had only hoped she'd achieve.
And to top it off, she isn't the only one celebrating. Her grandson Thomas is also graduating from Shaker Heights just one day later.
"She looks so cute in that thing. I don't even really know what to think," said Thomas.
"She's going to wear her cap and gown tomorrow," said Emilia
A dream 78 years in the making, one she'll never forget.
Although Anna is not walking with the class of 2012, she will be in the audience cheering on her grandson.