Photo Courtesy: Palo Alto College
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KTVU) - An 82-year-old Texas man is being called an inspiration for returning to college to get his degree. But what's more, he's going to school with his 18-year-old granddaughter.
Last week Melanie Salazar tweeted about how proud she was of her grandpa and fellow student Rene Neira.
The two are attending Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas.
Salazar posted pictures with the message, "I'm so proud of my grandpa for finishing his first day at PAC this semester! 82 years old and not giving up!!!"
Her tweet has gone viral being shared more than 2,200 times.
"People are inspired by it and motivated to not give up,” Salazar is quoted as saying in a Palo Alto College new release.
Grandpa Rene is in his second semester at the community college.
He first went to college in the 1950's, but had to put his plans to get a degree on hold after he got married and he had to work to support his family.
Over the years, Neira took classes, but he’s now within reach of his goal of obtaining his associate's degree in economics.
After completing this semester at PAC, Neira hopes to go on to the University of Texas at San Antonio to get his bachelor’s.
His granddaughter, who is majoring in liberal arts, said it's been amazing to see how his story is inspiring so many people.
Salazar described her close ties with her grandpa and said she hopes to “be exactly like him.”
And the admiration is mutual. Neira said he's proud of his granddaughter for her achievements.
He also said, “I found out it’s not too late. I think that some people don’t give themselves enough credit for how smart they are... I never considered myself a bright student, but I’ve always applied myself.”
The fellow students said they look forward to being together on campus, having lunch and walking each other to class.
“I know it’s only going to be for one semester, so I’m going to cherish it while I can,” said Salazar.