Student Helps This Homeless Man To Get Back To The Same College He Left In 1975.
It was a simple journalism assignment for his class at the University of Texas at Austin. But that simple assignment carried out by Ryan Chandler amounted to so much more. The assignment was to interview a homeless man on the streets. Not a big deal. Practically any journalist could pull that one off with ease… even the ones who are just learning the profession.
So Ryan took an even easier route to get that interview by speaking with a homeless man who was often seen near the campus. And what Ryan would learn would change a life.
The homeless man, 65-year-old David Carter, told Ryan that he used to go to that same university back in the day, in the early ’70s. He was in the school’s arts program and wanted to be a great writer or artist. But then a cruel slice of life hit David. There was substance abuse and mental health issues. And finally, David had to drop out.
David brought his UT transcript today. With 87 hours passed, he has been hoping to finish his degree since 1971. We’ve been talking with the Office of Admissions, and they’re working on re-admitting him for next spring. Let’s make 2020 his year @UTAustin #DegreeForDavid pic.twitter.com/jfMtcWprH4— Ryan Chandler (@RyanChandler98) February 28, 2019
He then spent the next 40 years dealing with addiction and schizophrenia. For many of those years he hitchhiked around the country. Then he returned to the area he knew best, so he could try to take care of his sick parents. He tried to get back into the school several times, but because he was homeless and could not pay certain fees, he was never accepted.
For Ryan, this became more than a simple assignment. He was now determined to get David back into the university. What he found was that David had already completed 87 credit hours, and would only need 64 more credit hours to earn his degree.
After Ryan worked with the university’s administrators for about a year, David was finally accepted back into the school. An anonymous alumni paid for David’s education.
We did it! After 6 years of panhandling on the Drag, David Carter has been readmitted to @UTAustin and will resume his degree this week. Thanks to Longhorns’ support and an article published in @TheAlcalde, a Texas Ex has pledged to pay his full tuition. #DegreeForDavid pic.twitter.com/aY46snux6R— Ryan Chandler (@RyanChandler98) June 2, 2019
Says David: “It’s the greatest blessing I’ve ever received. Ryan did what had to be done to get me enrolled in those classes, and I couldn’t have done it without him.”
And, perhaps, one day soon, David will be able to show off his university degree.
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