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Orange Grove grandmother, cancer survivor graduates from college

"I just waited until my kids were grown and I thought this was my time," said 70-year-old Orange Grove resident Mary Ann De Los Santos.

BEEVILLE, Texas — Mary Ann De Los Santos is a 70-year-old Orange Grove grandmother who graduated from Coastal Bend College on Wednesday. 

Her degree is in early childhood development. 

"That has always been a goal in my life since I was young. I was not going to just do nothing," De Los Santos said.

3News asked De Los Santos why she decided to go back to school and get her degree? She said that timing has always been a factor.

"I just waited until my kids were grown and I thought this was my time," De Los Santos said. 

Knowing the importance of pushing through, De Los Santos is a fighter in more ways than one. From surviving cancer and COVID-19, she didn't let either keep her from getting her degree.

"For those of us who know her we are not surprised," said De Los Santo's son Ray. "Because that's just our mom. We certainly draw inspiration from it and we think other people would too."

Like all the other students during the pandemic, De Los Santos had to do a lot of her schoolwork online. That was a huge challenge for her, but it turned out to be just another hurdle she was able to overcome. 

While De Los Santos is retired, she didn't want that fact to stop her from realizing her lifelong dream of becoming a college graduate. 

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