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ASU Student Inspires Others After Going from Incarceration to College Graduate

News May 10, 2024

This story was originally published on on May 2, 2024.

PHOENIX (AZFamily) — As commencements get underway in the coming weeks, one Valley man is not only celebrating his degree but how far he’s come to earn it.

Cordero Holmes will receive his bac’s degree from ASU next week.

It’s a feat he never imagined while locked away in state prison. “When I received this invitation to speak tonight, I cried,” Holmes said.

This is not where Holmes pictured himself five years ago. “I couldn’t tell you how many times I went to jail from when I was 18 to when I was ultimately sentenced to 10 and a half years,” Holmes said.

Two years ago, Holmes gave his commencement speech at Rio Salado College, where he earned two associate degrees.

The road to get here included run-ins with the law as early as seven years old, in and out of juvenile detention, an armed robbery and three years in solitary confinement with 10 years attached to his name in state prison.

“Did I ever think I would get out of that pattern? At that time no I definitely didn’t. I definitely believed that this was my life,” Holmes said.

Read more and watch the video interview, here.