LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A woman just received her bachelor’s degree from University of Arkansas at Little Rock more than two decades after she began her college career.

Anita Burnett started school at UA-Little Rock in 1999. Burnett said she had to drop out after unexpectedly becoming the guardian of her 16-year-old sister at the young age of 21.

“I left school, which was going to be a semester or two, and then two decades later – still hadn’t come back,” Burnett said.

As her son’s school was preparing him for future endeavors, college was a part of the conversation.

“I told him it was very important to go to college, he pointed out that I hadn’t finished so I decided I should probably lead by example and go back and get a degree, if I wanted to tell him it was important – then I should do the same” she said.

Nathanial Burnett said he was very proud of his mom and has been happy to help with his ten-year-old sister, Chloe.

“Most people who stop going to college don’t come back – so it really means a lot that you found the motivation to come back to school despite the challenges” Nathanial said.

Anita finished up her last semester at UA-Little Rock.

“I was waiting on the grade for one last final to come in and that came through. I have a 4.0 this semester, and that was the goal – to finish out strong” she said.

Anita’s hard work paid off, and she will walk in graduation on Saturday, Dec. 17. She is graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Analytics.