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Man who spent 30 years in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach

Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach.
Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach. Courtesy of Joseph Valadez.

A California man, who spent 30 years behind bars, has proven that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.

Joseph Valadez just graduated from Cal State Long Beach, with honors, after spending half his adult life in prison.

“There’s a misconception about guys like me that I want to break. If I can do it, anyone can,” said Valadez.

Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach.
Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach. Courtesy of Joseph Valadez.

In a Facebook post, Valadez said he finished his last two semesters on the “President’s Honor List” for getting straight A’s.

Valadez also spoke about his mother as being the one person who never gave up on him.

“My mom has been gone for 14 years… but she never gave up hope on me,” Valadez said while fighting back tears.

Valadez wishes his mother, Anita Valadez, could have seen him graduate college at age 62.

She Believed in Him

For years, she watched her son spiral into drug addiction, gang violence, prison and homelessness. Yet, he says despite all that, his mom tried to inspire him.

Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach.
Man who spent 30 years of his adult life in prison graduates with honors from Cal State Long Beach. Courtesy of Joseph Valadez.

“She always told me that I could be somebody,” he said. “She said I was smart. She never gave up hope on me.”

At age 11, he got involved with drugs and other activities that led to him spending more than 30 years of his life behind bars.

But after nearly facing death in his 50s, Valadez decided to get clean and turn his life around.

So, he enrolled in college, struggled through six years of grueling coursework, and finally graduated…with honors.

More proof that’s it’s never too late to chase your dreams. We have no doubt that his mom is beaming with pride & joy. (credit: Joseph Valadez). Follow @majicallynews for more Good News only.


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