Whoever said there’s no age bar to study was absolutely right. Texas-based Melanie Salazar’s 82-year-old grandfather Rene Neira proves just that and, interestingly, the two go to the same college at Palo Alto College. He is completing his associate’s degree in economics, while she is completing her graduation.
“I’m so proud of my grandpa for finishing his first day at PAC this semester! 82 years old and not giving up!!!” she wrote on Twitter, a post that subsequently went viral.
Reportedly, Neira had to quit studying to financially support his family after he got married in his 20s. Not that he didn’t study afterwards. He took a couple of short-term courses but he decided to earn a degree after his wife passed away in 2009, Melanie told Metro News.
The two meet every day in college and as adorable as it sounds, he walks her to her class in the building next to his. “We have met up once for lunch. I’ve met up with him before his class starts and then he’ll walk me across to my next building for my next class,” the 18-year-old was quoted as saying.
Neira does not only inspire his own granddaughter but others in the college and on social media who have seen the post as well. “It makes me realize the importance of getting an education like my grandpa…so I can accomplish something great like him,” she said. “If he can do it then i can, this gave me so much hope,” read one of the comments. “Going back to college at 30 doesn’t seem like a crazy idea anymore! Thanks Melanie and Grandpa!” wrote another.
If he can do it then i can, this gave me so much hope😊 http://t.co/4jFtyRZ6iR
— Mary Mansour (@marymansour55) August 25, 2016
@melaniesalazara Going back to college at 30 doesn’t seem like a crazy idea anymore! Thanks Melanie and Grandpa!
— Christine Kelly (@CTineKells) August 28, 2016
Reportedly, after completing a class in next semester, grandpa Neira will graduate but that will not end his pursuit. He plans to apply for Bachelor’s degree as well.
“I’m not trying to inspire Melanie, or anybody. I’m glad that’s what it’s doing, but I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do,” Neira told Metro.