80-year-old grandmother graduates college

Rosa Salgado, grandmother of Christopher Columbus Student Alex Vizcarra, originally arrived with her family in Miami 20 years ago. Only a year after she arrived in Miami, Rosa enrolled in an English program and a job as a paraprofessional at Miami-Dade College’s child care center to support her family. Eventually, the center changed locations, but Rosa did not change her job. She switched her classes to part time and took up to seven buses between her home, her classes, and her work.

Her challenges were not over yet, around ten year ago, her youngest daughter suffered an eclampsia, leaving her in a comma. Rosa continued pursuing an associate of arts degree in education at the time, working at the Miami-Dade College’s child care center, and taking care of her family all at the same. Despite all these hardships, Rosa still managed to graduate with honors many years later.

 

During the graduation ceremony, Rosa proudly stood next to people up to forty years younger than her. She also proudly stood alongside her two grandsons who graduated next to her. “She was a very good example to us” said one of her grandsons, David Salgado. With her diploma in hand, Rosa has her sites on a new career. “I am going to think about creating poems about children because I like poems. I am going to illustrate some stories for children,” said Salgado.

Her success, despite her setbacks, has even inspired her daughter, previously in a coma to go back to college and pursue an advanced degree in mathematics.

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