“He’s very proud of me, and I’m very proud of him.”
Meet Melanie Salazar, 18, and her 82-year-old grandfather, Rene Neira. They aren’t just family — they’re classmates, too.
Salazar just started her first year at Palo Alto College, where her grandpa is taking the last class he needs to get his associate's degree in economics.
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.
Throughout his life he took classes here and there, but “it was never a consistent thing, until my grandma died in 2009,” she said. It was then that Neira really became determined to graduate.
As classmates, Salazar and Neira walk each other to class and often meet for lunch, she said.
“It's been pretty awesome,” she said. “I know it’s only going to be for one semester, but I’m going to cherish that while I can.”
The two caught people’s attention after Salazar tweeted about her grandpa’s accomplishment on their first day of class on Wednesday.
@melaniesalazara / Via Twitter: @melaniesalazara
People are calling Neira “inspiring,” and saying his story is proof “it’s never too late to pursue your goals.”
@marymansour55 / Via Twitter: @marymansour55