The Crusader Newspaper Group

This 65-year-old college grad overcame illiteracy, addiction, and being homeless before reaching his goal

By Britni Danielle,

Freddie Sherrill could have easily given up.

After being unable to read for more than half his life, and battling addiction and homelessness for several years, he beat all the odds when he walked across the stage to graduate from college at 65.

The road to Sherrill’s college degree hasn’t been an easy one. He dropped out of school at eight, went to jail at 16, and became homeless at 27. Throughout most of his adult life he battled drug and alcohol addiction and even tried to kill himself in 1988, but the gun he was going to use didn’t go off.

“I couldn’t stop crying,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “I said the only prayer I knew: ‘God, please help me.’ I was just tired of living. I wanted to die and couldn’t even do that.”


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