Get ready for the feel-good story of the day, because this is certainly it. While the end of summer rolls closer and many prepare to head back to school by picking up the basics (and others just try to avoid the stress of the back to school sitch), not many realize how lucky they are to be dealing with school in the first place. During the Great Depression, many kids had to leave school behind earlier than expected in order to help their families survive through the difficult time. One of those young folks was Clare Picciuto, who now, at 100 years old, has just received the high school diploma that she always longed for.

Clare Picciuto

When Clare was about to start high school in Massachusetts in the early 1930s, her parents asked her to quit school and start working in a factory in order to help out with her eight siblings. “Her brothers were allowed to continue with their education, and she always bemoaned the fact that she wasn’t able to,” Clare’s daughter, Deborah, told ABC News Today. “But she never lost her love of learning.” And not only that, but in Clare’s own words, she firmly believed that “…women should have education, too.”

“She’s been to so many graduations,” Deborah added. “My high school, college and grad school ones — and a bunch more for all of my daughters, but she’s never had her own.” Well, now that’s all changed.

Clare Picciuto

While Clare was attending her regular Bingo night at the local senior center, Jon Bernard, superintendent of North Reading Public Schools, stopped by with a very special birthday gift for the woman who has now seen a full century of life: a high school diploma. While presenting Clare with her hard-earned and long-awaited achievement, Jon said, “I told her that, in my opinion, her life experiences alone had earned her the honor tassel and diploma.” No doubt. Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Clare!

Did this story just totally give you the warm & fuzzy feels? Be sure to tag a friend @BritandCo who could use a smile today!

(h/t Jezebel; photos via screenshot/ABC News Today)