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Never too late to become a college grad

To say Clell Elliott has seen a lot in his 89 years on this planet is an understatement of the largest proportions. But, next month, the Franklin Furnace resident will see a dream come true by becoming a college graduate.

Elliott is taking advantage of a unique program at Rio Grande University that allows adults to blend prior education and life experiences to earn a college degree and walk away with a diploma.

And when it comes to those life experiences Elliott certainly was not lacking. The man is a veteran, a pastor, a boilermaker, a farmer and a family man. He is also a perfect example that it is never too late to chase a dream and that a college education can be far more than just a means to an end.

For Elliott, this is an accomplishment that he will always remember, the culmination of a lifetime of learning and hard work.

Instead of a spending all of his time in a school, Elliott got most of his education in the classroom that is the real world.

Rio Grande’s program is tremendous because it reflects the fact that, for many people, life gets in the way of higher education goals.

Children, work, health and family are all components that can impact someone’s ability to go to college or seek career training.

But being able to call yourself a college graduate can build self-esteem and serve as a crowning achievement for many individuals who may be among the first from his or her family to achieve this.

Clell Elliott is proof that dreams can always come true, no matter what age you reach.