91 year old WWII survivor receives honorary high school diplomaWritten by Rebecca Elmore
Guam - Concepcion Quintanilla, turned 91 years old this week, but that’s not the only milestone she’s accomplished. Yesterday, the Department of Education presented her and her late husband with honorary high school diplomas.
As a World War II survivor, Concepcion had to drop out of school at a very young age, undergoing the forced march from Yona to the north during the Japanese occupation. Although Quintanilla was unable to finish her high school diploma, Superintendent Jon Fernandez says a local law allows DOE to recognize war survivors as honorary graduates with their respective village high schools.
“We were here today to give two honorary diplomas out for graduation for Gonzalo and Concepcion Quintanilla, two residents of Yigo, but who were not able to complete their high school education because of the war. There’s a law on the books, that’s been on the books to allow us to give these diplomas to our survivors and to those who have already passed. To hear of the stories from our Manamko who have been through so much, especially the World War II and the Japanese --those types of stories we can honor and respect. This is an opportunity to do all of that in one very simple ceremony but very meaningful to the families,” he said.
Superintendent Fernandez says anyone interested in applying for an honorary diploma, to let your village mayor.