Mary Bowman should have graduated from high school in 1953, but she got married in 1950 and would go on to become a very busy mother of nine children.

Over the decades she became a grandmother and great-grandmother, while continuing to think about some day earning the equivalent of a high school diploma, known as GED, for General Educational Development.

In 2010, Bowman received a pamphlet from Pima Community College about GED courses and she decided it was time to make it happen.

After occasionally reading the pamphlet and noticing upcoming deadlines, she called the college and attended an orientation event.

Months later- in 2012 - she earned her diploma.

"It wasn't easy, math was the hardest for me," Bowman says. "But oh, I was just so thankful for the wonderful teachers I had."

Bowman says she is grateful for support from family and loved ones, and she encourages other people to follow in her footsteps.

She says she'll gladly work for Pima Community College or other groups to spread the message, and she'll have her diploma in tow.