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Joshua Woods was homeless and living on his sister’s floor when he decided to use his last $30 to apply to Wichita State as a last hope for his dreams and aspirations.

He said that he was in a bad place emotionally when he applied, after both his parents had died. “I was disappointed. Mostly in myself but also at life. I felt like I wasn’t dealt a good hand to begin with. I was in foster care. My father passed away when I was 16. I was the only kid on my block with no guardian,” he said.

But Woods pressed forward. He worked through college, even pulling an overnight shift at the grocery store, and ran the five miles to school in the morning because he didn’t have a vehicle.

After so much hard work and sacrifice to get him to the graduation stage, Woods said that he had a little trouble containing his emotions.

“It was hard to hold my tears as I walked across that stage,” Woods said. “To be considered stupid all your life and you graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree… I don’t know about anyone else, but it was a triumph for me.”

Now that he has his degree in communications, Woods hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

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