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Cal State Long Beach grad who spent half his adult life in prison accepted into master’s program

Long Beach, CA (KABC)-A man who graduated from California State University Long Beach earlier this year after spending half his adulthood in prison achieved another milestone.

Joseph Valades told Witness News that he was accepted into the Master’s Program in Social Work at CSULB.

Valades said he wanted to help others get a second chance in life, as he did.

In a February Facebook post, he said he had completed the last two semesters of the “President’s Honor List” with a straight A.

Valades also graduated from 3.67 GPA and created a Dean list.

“There is a misconception about someone like me that I want to break. Anyone can do it if I can do it,” he said.

“My mother has been gone for 14 years … but she never gave me hope,” Valades said in tears.

A man who spent half his adulthood in prison graduated from California State University Long Beach

Valades hopes to see his mother, Anita Valades, graduate from college at the age of 62. For years she saw her son involved in drug addiction, gang violence, prisons and homelessness. Nevertheless, he says his mom nevertheless tried to inspire him.

“She always told me I could be someone,” he said. “She said I was smart. She never gave me hope.”

The victory of Valades is a true story of redemption. At the age of 11, he became obsessed with drugs and spent more than 30 years in the bar.

He woke up on the verge of death in his fifties. He decided to be clean.

He entered college and struggled with six years of rigorous coursework to finally get his degree.

Related | A Mexican sushi chef from East LA, after spending time in jail, owned three restaurants and changed his life.

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