By Justin Udo


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of Philadelphians are getting a second chance at graduating high school.

More than 200 students received their diploma Wednesday night through the School District of Philadelphia’s Opportunity Network.

If the traditional approaches don’t work, it’s our responsibility to come up with other ways to do that,” said Superintendent Dr. William Hite. “I’m just thrilled that we have programs all across the city that allow individuals to come back.”

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Among those students graduating was 71-year-old Charlotte Burkett from North Philadelphia. She dropped out of school in the early 1960’s to take care of her family — but last year she decided to go back to school.

“It has been amazing. The program is beautiful. Everybody treated me so nice,” Burkett said. “Some of them called me mom. So of them called me grandma.”

Charlotte says she was inspired to get her diploma after seeing a 77-year-old woman graduate from the program.

“When I seen that, I said ‘okay, if she can do it, I can do it.’ So I said ‘come on now, you’re not doing nothing. Go back to school and get your diploma,'” she said.

Charlotte says she plans on celebrating her milestone by doing some traveling.