Special group of high school seniors graduate in East Bay

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- It's not typical to hear "Pomp and Circumstance" the week before Thanksgiving, but the 90 adults who graduated Thursday night in San Leandro are not your typical high school graduates.

"For me to come back and graduate after like 33 years, it was huge," says Felicia Murphy.

Murphy, now in her 50s, dropped out of school in the 8th grade. She's been homeless most here life, and currently lives in transitional housing. High school and college were milestones she never thought she would achieve.

"I'm going to college! I start college in January and I'm super excited," says Murphy.

"Twenty thousand adults in Alameda County have no high school diploma," explains Monica Vaughn the Chief of Schools for Alameda County Office of Education. She says the county's adult education programs are tailored to meet individual student needs.

Yolanda Johnson, one of the graduation speakers, says she spent the last 16 years trying to finish high school.

"It was such a burden on my heart that I didn't have my education," says Johnson. "This will help me to know that I can go further in my life and do anything I want to accomplish."

Murphy hopes she inspires others to dream big.

"I want people to know they can do it, too. The opportunity is out. One day at a time. And it can be done. Look at me!" says Murphy.

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