Grandma gets honorary degree for aiding New Mexico community

May 15, 2022 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An 84-year-old woman has received an honorary degree from Northern New Mexico College for her contributions to the small community north of Española.

The degree was awarded Saturday to Socorro Herrera.

“I’m not the type that likes to show off, but they gave me that honorary degree, and I’m glad,” Herrera told the Santa Fe New Mexican in an interview after the ceremony.

According to the newspaper, Herrera is a great grandmother and is known for feeding the elderly, singing at weddings and running Socorro’s Restaurant, a staple of the little town that has drawn customers including former President Barack Obama and famed actor John Travolta.

Herrera was born in the same house in Hernández where she operates the restaurant for the past 28 years.

She married at 16, had the first of her four children by the time she was 17 and didn’t graduate from high school back then.

But now, Herrera is on her way to holding a diploma from the Peñasco Independent School District.

She has six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.