Graduation is a significant milestone for anyone. But it’s extra remarkable to see an 88-year-old grandfather graduating college alongside his 23-year-old granddaughter.
It’s never too late to achieve one’s dream. This elderly man has been trying to finish a degree since the 1950s. He has been in and out of schools, and “it has been one of his life’s goals and dreams.”
However, Rene Neira took a different path, fell in love, married, and raised a family. He was not able to continue his studies anymore. In 2017, the grandpa and granddaughter duo enrolled at the University of Texas-San Antonio.
“There were times when we would get lunch together, be in the library together, and just work silently side-by-side,” Melanie Salazar, Rene’s granddaughter and schoolmate, recalled.
After four years, their hard work finally paid off–they graduated last month. Together, they went up the stage, with Melanie pushing her grandpa’s wheelchair. She graduated with a degree in Communications, and Rene finished with a degree of recognition in Economics.
Everyone broke into applause and cheered for this fantastic duo. “I wanted to cry out of happiness, that I was able to have that memory, and really because I’m so really proud of my grandpa knowing and seeing how hard he has to work,” the proud granddaughter said.
Their story has been making waves online. People have nothing but good words for them, “Awww…I love stories like these. This was such a beautiful moment. Congrats to the both of them. Grandpa definitely demonstrated that one shouldn’t give up on their dreams no matter how long it takes,” one wrote.
Another was inspired by this grandpop’s determination and wrote, “I’m motivated to go back to school myself, thanks for this.”
God has given Rene the grace to finish his degree even at an advanced stage in his life. Hard work, patience, and determination are the keys to success, especially when the path is not easy or clear.
“The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.” Proverbs 21:25