You might want to grab a tissue for this one:
It’s taken a little longer than it has for other students, but 88-year-old Esther Begam finally has her high school diploma. She grew up in Poland and had to quit school at 11 to move into a Jewish ghetto and she never had the chance to finish her education.
She had an incredibly difficult early life, losing her entire family in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. But she fell in love and married a fellow Holocaust survivor at 17 and they moved to Minnesota to have a new life.
Begam shared her story with Candice Ledman’s English class at Wayzata High School seven years ago and told them her biggest regret was not getting her high school diploma. This surprised Ledman and she was inspired to help. So she arranged for Begam to get an honorary diploma from her high school.
Ledman’s class set up a ceremony so Begam’s family and friends could come see her get her diploma, complete with a cap and gown. It might have been 71 years overdue, but the grad says, “It’s wonderful.”