81-year-old puts “Senior” in senior class

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (KSHB) – It’s graduation season, and that means a lot of high schoolers are putting on a cap and gown this month.

Among the crowds, a student in Kansas City, Kansas will be turning heads.

They’ll be looking at Ernest Gillespie. He gives new meaning to being called a senior. He’s 81 years old.

“You’re never too old for anything really. It just depends on your attitude,” Gillespie explains.

He quit high school in in 1950, when he was just 17 years old.

He said he did it to help his mom.

Gillespie, born after the Great Depression, watched his single mom financially struggle to raise his brother and him.

He thought getting a job would relieve his mom.

“I know she did the best she could. She told us don’t depend on people to feed you and clothe you,” he says.

Gillespie made his mom a promise that he’d eventually finish school.

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