Despite battling chronic disease, 50-year-old woman graduates US university with 97% grade
Despite battling chronic disease, A 50-year-old woman named Ammies Stewart has beaten the odds to successfully graduate from Jackson University, United States with a 97% grade point.
Ammies is a mother of three who works as an elementary teacher in Jackson Public Schools and with a Lupus diagnosis. She was able to balance being a teacher, motherhood, and her health challenges together with being a student.
She graduated from Jackson State University’s (JSU) Mississippi Teacher Residency (MTR) Program with a 3.90 grade point average. Ammie who was diagnosed with Lupus in May 2022 said she is excited about her graduation adding that everyone will see the power of joy in her walk.
“I’ve already picked out my outfit for graduation. My thing is to step, but I’m stepping with knowing that I did this. I’m stepping knowing that God was there. “I trusted Him and trusted His plan. I kept going. I’m stepping for my children. I’m stepping for my students. I’m stepping for the mothers and fathers who wanted to step but couldn’t step,” she said.
Ammie told JSU news that she began her college journey in 1997 but she paused her academics to care for her children. She graduated from Tougaloo College, Mississippi with two associate’s degrees – one in early childhood and the other in childhood development,
She proceeded to obtain a bachelor’s degree in childhood development at the same college. She mentioned that her journey was rigid as she was often battling flare-ups with lupus. Flare-ups can lead to extreme tiredness, fatigue, and chronic pain.
Lupus causes inflammation and occurs when the immune system attacks its tissues, as opposed to its normal function of protecting the body from infections and disease. Ammies said she knows that her journey with lupus was to inspire someone.
“I know when to throw in the towel, but sometimes it’s not about throwing in that towel. Take that towel and wipe these tears with it because I cry and all that kind of stuff sometimes, but with that being said, I can say I did it,” she said.
Ammie credits her family, friends, church members, coworkers neighbors for being a stable support system during the academic journey. She added that affirmations, taking time to stop and breathe, and Roman 8:37 scripture got her through.