MILWAUKEE -- Charles Linyard is getting some help with the final touches of his cap and gown. Linyard admits graduating from Milwaukee Area Technical College was no easy feat.
"I never thought I would be here," he says.
After a life of substance abuse, Charles decided he wanted more. So, he got his GED and at age 57 he went back to school to earn an Associate's Degree in Human Services; putting him one step closer on the path to becoming a substance abuse counselor. For the first time he feels like he as accomplished something meaningful.
"Man, after all the things that I have been through to finally know I have something to offer to someone else and be able to encourage them to go through."
His passion to help other addicts gave Charles the motivation to face his fears of attending classes and writing papers. Friday night he stood tall - ready to start a new chapter.
He is one of 850 winter session graduates realizing the possibilities their education now affords them.
His daughter, also a student at MATC, gets a little teary when speaking of her dad’s accomplishments.
"I am really proud of him, he has been through a lot. And to see him get here that is really awesome and inspiring."