The 18-year-old first-year student at Palo Alto College in Texas couldn’t have guessed that her post about her 82-year-old grandfather, Rene Neira, would go viral and in the process provide proof to many that it’s never too late to go to college.
Salazar tweeted last week, “I’m so proud of my grandpa for finishing his first day at PAC this semester! 82 years old and not giving up!!!” The heartwarming message was retweeted more than 2,000 times.
What’s even better is that Neira is going to the same college as Salazar. While her grandfather is taking the last class he needs to for his associate’s degree in economics, Salazar is majoring in liberal arts.
“I’m actually very undecided, but I had to put down something,” she admitted.
The student from San Antonio, Texas, never expected her message to go viral.
“Honestly to me it feels normal that I’m going to school with my grandpa,” she told ABC News. “I look at my grandpa and I’m proud of him. This is a normal thing. It feels great and I’m very proud of him.”
It’s normal for Salazar because she has watched her grandfather take classes here and there throughout her childhood. When he graduates this fall, he plans to enroll at University of Texas at San Antonio to obtain his bachelor’s degree.
“I don’t want to take credit for it. It’s not my story. It’s all my grandpa’s story. I just so happen to have social media,” she said. “It’s amazing that it just took off and people are inspired by this and motivated, more importantly, to get their education.”
Salazar said that her grandfather has also motivated her.
“It only motivates me more not to give up and figure out what I want to study specifically,” Salazar said. “I know that if he can do it and I can definitely can do it.”