Beaumont resident becomes high school grad after 65

Sandrajean Zahar

Beaumont resident Sandrajean Zahar’s road toward a high school diploma was a bumpy ride. When she was in high school, Sandrajean eloped with her sweetheart, who was leaving for Vietnam. At that time, married teens were not permitted to remain in traditional high school, and she was not interested in earning a GED.

Sandrajean worked as a practical nurse, then with the New York City Board of Education, serving people with disabilities. Coincidentally, in 1995, she began to experience sight loss. After 13 surgeries, she continued to experience low vision.

She worked at the Board of Education for years after her diagnosis, and it was through the Library of Congress that she first heard about Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s High School Program. Hadley is the largest provider of distance education for people who are blind and visually impaired worldwide.

Sandrajean’s earned a diploma despite four major moves, the death of her parents and a cancer diagnosis. Because Sandrajean is over age 65, she has earned the distinction of being one of Hadley’s “Golden Graduates.”