62-year-old Orange County man graduates college after decades of drug use and incarceration

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From addict and incarceration to A-student and making use of for his grasp’s diploma! Joseph Valadez, at 62-years-old, is a proud graduate of Cal State Lengthy Seaside.

His principle… if he can do it, then anybody can!

In December of 2020 Valadez acquired his Bachelor’s diploma in Sociology.

He walks the campus after overcoming fairly a previous.

“I began going to juvenile corridor at age of 11” he mentioned. “I grew up operating round with a gang at an early age.” Valadez grew up in Orange County.

This college diploma may by no means have occurred. He’d joined the navy having used medicine earlier than, throughout, and after. After getting out of the navy he was arrested for housebreaking and over time ended up in jail 40 occasions earlier than coming into the Salvation Military Anaheim Grownup Rehabilitation Heart’s residential program.

He acquired sober in 2013. He credit the Salvation Military amongst these serving to him discover a method up. With an honorable discharge he is been ready to make use of his veteran’s advantages in the direction of faculty.

Because the pandemic hit all college students laborious with studying going on-line… Valadez too needed to grasp the Zoom classroom. After graduating with a 3.67 GPA and a spot on the President’s Honor Listing he desires to now give attention to serving to at-risk youth.

He has now utilized for his Grasp’s Diploma and desires to proceed his training. He says he “took” most of his life. Now it is time to “give.”

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