LAKE MARY, Fla. - When Melanie Salazar graduated from college on Dec. 11, she got to walk across the stage with a very special classmate: her grandfather.
Though Salazar, 23, and her grandfather, Rene Neira, now 88, never took any classes together, they both studied at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Salazar said the two carpooled and hung out together on campus and did homework together.
Salazar graduated with a degree in communications while Neira received a degree of recognition in economics.
Salazar said that because of her grandfather’s health, she wasn’t sure he was going to be able to make it to the ceremony, but thankfully he did. Although Neira told Salazar he was worried about stealing her spotlight, Salazar said she didn’t think he was. She said their time at school together taught her a valuable lesson.
(Courtesy of Melanie Salazar)
"Maybe you want to finish something you started, or you want to start something that you never did, and you can do it and I just look at the example of my grandpa," she said.
She said her grandfather is enjoying retirement and his health is improving. She hopes their story will inspire others.
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