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Posted under: News Education

73-year-old Hampton Alum proves it's never too late to accomplish your dreams

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Although many people in their early 70s are enjoying retirement without the hustle and bustle of a 9-5 ,one woman has decided not to take the common route. 73-year-old Bettie Anderson has made a decision that even some their 30s aren't prepared to make. Anderson has had the same dream for 53 years, but instead of chasing that dream initially, she graduated from Hampton University and pursued "normal" things such as success and financial stability. At 73, she's decided to stop making excuses and go for it. The former Peace Corp recruiter spent her time at Hampton encouraging others to join, but she's now preparing to spend 27 months of service in Botswana as a member of the org. After moving back to Virginia to take care of her parents, both of whom are now deceased, she decided that there was no better time than now to chase her dreams. Only 7 percent of Peace Corps volunteers are over the age of 50. As she awaits details on her assignment, Anderson is preparing herself for the physical parts of her role by building up muscle. She insists that they've treated her like everyone else when it came to her application. For the first three months, Anderson will live with a host family and get accustomed to the culture. She knows she can handle the task of learning a new language at her age. "I'm just as curious as everyone else to see if at 73 I can learn a new language," she said, "but I have confidence — and a lot of prayer — that it's going to be possible." After that she will work in a community health center helping to develop strategic plans to disseminate information to those with HIV/AIDS, as well as care for the individuals. As with any dream, there will always be people who don't think you can do it. At first, her family and friends weren't too fond of the idea and wished she would take the time to enjoy retirement. Now they fully support her and are pushing her to conquer this journey.

Let this HBCU grad inspire us all, it's never too late to go after your dreams. Even if its 53 years later.


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