Maude Damper: An example of inspiration and aspiration

Change is a function of attitude, not age

At 65, Maude Damper shows that a dream deferred does not have to be a dream denied.  She is currently pursuing her high school diploma.

She had her first child when she was in the 8th grade and dropped out.  Since then, she raised six daughters, all of whom went to college, Now that she’s seen all of her daughters achieve their educational goals, she is pursuing her own.

Ms. Damper says she wants to get her diploma so that she can “do better things in life” and “get a better paying job.”  At a time when a lot of people are talking about the “golden years”, Maude Damper is focused on achieving. It seems there’s a lesson for us all.

If a person, at age 65, is still looking to the future, who are we, as forty-somethings, to claim that windows of opportunity are closed to us?  It seems, to me, that some of us might be giving up way too soon.

Editor’s Note:  Maude Damper is pursuing her educational goals with the help of the Excel Center of Tennessee, the state’s first tuition-free adult charter school operated by Goodwill Excel Center Midsouth, Inc.  Learn more about it at

Written by JP Smith

A self-proclaimed "technologist...with attitude", I'm a forty-something husband, father and IT professional/enthusiast. I believe that learning and growth are lifelong endeavors.