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Never too late to learn something new

It took Evelyne Smallwood 87 years to earn her GED, so it seemed only fitting that she attend college in her 90s.

Smallwood, 95, is one of many area seniors participating in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sierra College, a program that offers a variety of free classes to senior citizens.

“I never got to go to high school or college, and this just keeps your mind working and keeps your brain going,” Smallwood said.



She began penning her life story this spring when she enrolled in the institute’s autobiography class, and says she hopes to makes strides with the story this fall as she takes the class again.

“My family has been at me for a long time to write the history of my life. And you know how it is, you put it off, but I thought that since I’m almost 95 I should start,” she said. “And this class was a good opportunity to get help.”




Seven courses are being offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute this fall. There is no cost, and the courses do not count for credits. And while they are designed for adults 55 and older, there are no age requirements for the classes.

The institute was established in Truckee over the summer, said professor Stephen Sterling, and is already gaining interest.

“This is an opportunity for them to continue the learning process with no pressure,” Sterling said. “The pressure is on me to make the class as interesting and entertaining as possible.”

For more information, call 550-2225.


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