"I walk with my chest higher," Qadirah Bridgeman says 37 years after first going to college

By Gillian Telling
May 21, 2019 02:40 PM
Quadirah Bridgeman
Credit: Quadirah Bridgeman

It’s never too late to go back to school.

So proved one grandmother, Qadirah Bridgeman, who recently got her MBA at age 59, nearly 37 years after she first graduated from Adelphi College and was planning to go on to law school.

Instead, she got married and then pregnant with her first child, and put her career aspirations on hold so she could raise her family, which eventually grew to four children. Bridgeman home-schooled all four of her kids, all the while working at a call center in Tennessee.

In a new article for T-Mobile Stories, where Bridgeman works, she said she’d always dreamed of going back to school to get her master’s but lacked the confidence. Still, after learning of T-Mobile’s tuition assistance program, she decided to take a leap of faith.

“Finally, I said to myself, ‘You know, there’s nothing else going on in my life right now that is really stopping me,’ ” the grandmother of 11 told the wireless provider’s publication.

Last fall, Bridgeman walked down the graduation aisle at Ashford University in a cap and gown with her parents and siblings in attendance — and she said she couldn’t be more proud of what she accomplished, despite her age.

“The step toward education was a real confidence booster,” she said. “I walk with my chest higher.” She adds that she’s not even sure she’s done with studying yet.

“I would love to go back for another degree,” she said. “Especially now I know I can do it.”