SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNN/WJW) -- 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. It was a touching moment as the woman received her diploma.
Most seniors wait four years for the cap and gown, but for Ann Colagiovanni, it took a bit longer.
Ann or Anna Lupica as she was known in the 30s was only 17-years-old when she quit high school to work at her father's meat market. She says, "It was the Depression years. Working was more important than getting your education."
Ann ended up working at the store for decades. She married and had two daughters. But even at 97, there's something she always wanted.
Now her alma mater Shaker Heights High School is giving her that dream. Superintendent Mark Freeman says, "It is my great honor to present this diploma to you and you'll see its June of 1934, that's when we believe that would be appropriate date."
Ann feels as if it's a piece of heaven, something her dad had only hope she'd achieve. She says, "He'd be so happy know that finally I'm going to be...I'm going to be a graduate."
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. He says, "She looks so cute in that thing. I don't even really know what to think."
It's a dream 78 years in the making, one she'll never forget.
Although Colagiovanni is not walking with the class of 2012, she will be in the audience cheering on her grandson.