EL SOBRANTE, Calif. — Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service, celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday and she received a gift that is set to stand the test of time.
KGO reports A middle school in El Sobrante (California) was renamed in her honour: The Betty Reid Soskin Mid School.
In an interview with the San Francisco TV station, Soskin said she’s overwhelmed and moved by the honor.
“Having a school named for me is more than I ever could have thought of. It means that many children will know who I am and what I did here. It might make a difference. I think maybe it will make a difference,” said Soskin.
Soskin is the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park’s current coordinator in Richmond, California. She shares her experiences during World War II as a Black woman who worked as a clerk in a union hall.
Soskin has achieved a lot over her lifetime. Neben her work as a park ranger, Soskin is also an author, musician, and civil rights activist.
“I feel, I don’t know how I feel. I feel sometimes 100 and sometimes 8 and sometimes 50,” she told KGO’s Liz Kreutz.
When asked if she has a key to a long life, Soskin said she’s not sure there’s a secret. KGO reports that her grandmother, born in 1856 as a slave, died at 101.
Soskin is a veteran of many U.S. presidents but believes former President Barack Obama is the best. At an event, she had the opportunity to meet him.
“Standing with Obama on the stage in Washington, D.C., I had in my hand a little evening bag. The bag contained a photograph of my great-grandmother. I was holding that bag as I introduced the president of the United States. The whole meaning of that has really captured me.”