Parents beat drug addiction to attend college, graduate together

It's been a long road to graduation for a husband-and-wife pair of college students, who were able to get their degree after years struggling with drug addiction, according to their son.

Charles Cole lll, 33, said he couldn't be more proud after his parents completed their degrees at Sacramento Theological Seminary, following years of crack addiction and moving their family around a lot when he was young.

"My parents struggled with drugs and going in and out of jail so their background has been one of getting their lives together and rebuilding it together brick by brick," Cole told

Cole, who's in a doctoral program himself, couldn't attend the graduation, but was overjoyed to receive a photo of his triumphant parents.

He posted it to Twitter, where it got more than 2,000 retweets.

"When I saw the picture, they looked adorable," Cole said. "I was just happy for them."

Cole said he speaks at schools encouraging children in the black community to get an education because that is what helped him to get out of the environment he was in.

"I was happy in the sense that this is just what I do and where my focus is. My focus is getting people that look like me in and through school," he said. "I've seen what my parents have gone through so I was happy they were able to go back and accomplishment that."

Cole said his parents are even inspiring others.

"I started seeing all these comments [on Twitter] of people in their old age wanting to go back (to school), trying to go back now saying, 'you know, I want my kids to be proud of me.' I think that's powerful."

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Parents beat drug addiction to attend college, graduate together
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Parents beat drug addiction to attend college, graduate together

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