SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A granddaughter and grandfather duo cross the stage at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) commencement ceremony over the weekend.
Proving it is never too late to achieve your dreams!
For 87-year-old Rene Neria, an normal educational career was not easy but he has finally made it to the end as he earned his degree from UTSA.
Starting their academic journey at Palo Alto College, the two caught the eye of the internet when Melanie Salazar, Nerias granddaughter, tweeted on how proud she was of her grandfather returning to school.
As a viral internet sensation, Salazar spoke with Buzzfeed News on Neria’s educational journey.
Neira briefly attended St. Mary’s University in the 1950s, but put his education on hold when he got married and started a family, Salazar told BuzzFeed News.
However, his journey never stayed steady “it was never a consistent thing, until my grandma died in 2009,” said Melanie Salazar. After that, Neira became determined to graduate, and he went back to school in the spring of 2016.
Salazar told Buzzfeed News that her experience as being a student alongside her grandfather has been “It’s been pretty awesome.”
Transferring to UTSA, the duo worked towards their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree.
On December 11, Melanie pushed her grandfather across the stage to receive his Degree in Recognition while she received her B.A. in Communication.
Although Neria was a few credits short of receiving his bachelor’s degree in Economics, the University honored Neria with a Degree in Recognition as he is terminally ill. Neria is now in hospice.
However, Nerias illness did not stop him from celebrating the special moment with his granddaughter with an eruption of applause and support from the crowd when they received their diplomas.