According to the television station, Owens withdrew from high school after her father passed away from a severe leg injury in the late 1930s. She never went back to school because she began working to help support her family. She encouraged members of her family to seek higher learning even if she couldn't do it herself.
The one wish Owens ever wanted was to have her high school diploma. So her granddaughter took it upon herself to help her grandmother get her high school diploma that she had missed out on all her life because she was unselfish enough to take care of her family.
The granddaughter wrote a letter to Booker T. Washington High School in Tennessee and requested that her grandmother be awarded an honorary high school diploma.
One of the most pleasant surprises of her lifetime came on Owens' 92nd birthday when her granddaughter presented the honorary high school diploma to Owens decades after she had dropped out of school.
Owens was overjoyed to have finally received her diploma.