Two B.C. seniors are proving you’re never too old to reach your goals as they walked across the stage this week to receive their high school diplomas.

Virginia Knowlton, 74, left high school in Grade 9 after her mother fell and broke her hip.

“I had to look after my mother and siblings and my dad because she had fallen down and broken her hip and was in a full body cast for three months,” Knowlton said. 

Even after her mother healed Knowlton never went back to school, marrying at 18 and raising a family. But two years ago she was encouraged by her friends to go back and complete Grade 12. 

“I said, ‘well, I don’t think I can do it. I’m kind of stupid’ and [they said] ‘oh no, you’re not stupid,’” she said. “So I went ahead. It took me two years to get my Grade 12, but I got it done.”

Harvey Andrew, 62, quit school just shy of his grade 12 graduation to financially support his family. He says he really enjoyed going back to finish his degree, and is very proud of himself.

“I'm the first in the family to get a high school diploma, all been drop outs,” he said. “I followed in their tracks and at some point I changed my mind and I went back.”

The duo has been part of the Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE), an alternative education program in Agassiz, B.C. where seniors and young people are encouraged to work side by side – and learn much more than what’s in the books.

ACE administrator Sandy Balascak says the graduation is “huge” for the seniors.

“Both of them have an incredible sense of accomplishment,” she told CTV News. “It’s monumental when you finally go back and do it… they’re really good students.”

Returning to school wasn’t an easy task.

“My brain was lying dormant for so long, and all of a sudden it was like, got to wake up,” said Knowlton, chuckling. “I’m really proud of myself… It was a lot of hard work.”

Andrew agrees, adding that he plans on continuing his education by taking computer classes at a local college.

“I feel great,” he said. “I feel a whole lot lighter and a whole lot brighter.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Michele Brunoro