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The Inspiring Journey of 81-Year-Old Antonette, Master’s Graduate from the University of Bristol"

“Embrace the wisdom of every sunrise, for in every dawn lies the promise of a new beginning. Life's journey knows no age, and with each step, we define our own milestones, proving that the pursuit of dreams has no expiration date.”

Black Wall St. MediaContributor

In a heartening testament to the boundless possibilities of education, 81-year-old Eulinda Antonette Clarke-Akalanne, fondly known as Antonette, recently graduated with a master’s degree from the University of Bristol.

Her remarkable journey challenges conventional notions about age and education, proving that it’s never too late to pursue one’s dreams.

The Unconventional Path:

Antonette embarked on her educational journey in her early 70s after spending a fulfilling career dedicated to helping others.

Leaving her home in Barbados at 18, she worked as a psychiatric nurse, social worker, and midwife, delivering over a thousand babies while raising three children. In retirement, she continued her altruistic endeavors as a respite foster carer and Citizens Advice advisor.

Feeling that something was missing in her life, Antonette decided to pursue her passion for learning.

She started with a Foundation Year in Arts and Humanities, followed by a degree in Anthropology at the University of Bristol.

Undeterred by severe visual impairment, she produced a compelling thesis on the disparities faced by black people with varying shades of skin.

Mastering Black Humanities:

Antonette’s academic journey continued with a Master’s in Black Humanities at the University’s Centre for Black Humanities. Driven by her curiosity and a desire to explore African history beyond the lens of slavery, she delved into the rich tapestry of the continent’s past.

Her research touched upon colorism, a topic close to her heart, shedding light on the unequal treatment she witnessed as a child in Barbados based on skin tone.

Championing Adult Education:

Antonette, a strong advocate for adult education, not only pursued her own studies but also encouraged eight friends to embark on their university journeys later in life.

She believes in the vibrancy and energy that comes from learning alongside younger peers, emphasizing that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.

Words of Encouragement:

Antonette’s graduation day was a moment of triumph, shared with her son. Her message to those contemplating education later in life is simple yet powerful: “Age is not a barrier to university studies. Achieving your goals at any time in life brings contentment, a sense of achievement, and happiness. If I can do it, so can you!”

Antonette’s inspiring story challenges societal norms and exemplifies the transformative power of education. Her journey serves as a beacon of hope for those who may think it’s too late to pursue their educational aspirations.

As Antonette eloquently puts it, “Life is for living,” and her philosophy resonates as a testament to the enduring spirit of lifelong learning.


Black Wall St. MediaContributor

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