Santos Maldonado was living on the streets years ago, struggling to find shelter and food. But Saturday he graduated from the University of Central Florida.
Maldonado first moved to Orlando in 2001 and he said he,” Fell on hard times, and very quickly was out of money and living on the streets.”
For years he struggled with homelessness. Until one day he reached a breaking point.
“I thought I was near death. I mean that literally. I did not see any hope on the horizon,” Maldonado said.
Through the help of of local programs, like the Second Harvest Food Bank, Maldonado got back on his feet. He began taking classes at Valencia College and later attended classes at UCF. After 10 years of studying, 61-year-old Maldonado, has earned his degree.
“Without the stability or type of organization [like Second Harvest Food Bank], I wouldn’t be here today. God knows where I would be,” Maldonado said.
Now Maldonado works for the organization that helped him get back on his feet.
“It’s like the icing on the cake. It just proves that you can be different and still make a difference,” Maldonado said.
Learn more here http://www.clickorlando.com/news/homeless-orlando-man-graduates-after-10-years/32910332