When life gives us lemons, most of us don't make lemonade! In the face of life's unexpected turn, we either complain or simply refuse to make an effort. But not Michael Vaudreuil, a 54-year-old who just graduated from the same college he spent years cleaning at night.
Michael's story is nothing short of inspirational, if not extraordinary
Following the financial crisis of 2007–08, also known as the global financial crisis, Michael Vaudreuil's thriving 24-year plastering business had ground to a halt as the economy waned.
He filed for bankruptcy, his house was foreclosed on and his car repossessed.
Desperate, he took the only job he could find — working full-time as a night custodian at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a private research university in Massachusetts.
Bankrupt and hopeless, Michael, while speaking with CNN affiliate WBZ, said he was "just a shell of a person at that time".
However, his job as a night custodian came with tuition-free classes. It was his last chance and he decided to make the most of it!
So he starting taking undergraduate classes at Worcester Polytechnic Institute by day and cleaned bathrooms and floors by night.
"I started taking classes to occupy my time constructively and get my mind off all the crap we were going through. It was one day at a time really," he told The Washington Post. "I felt productive and it was paying dividends for how it was affecting me personally. A couple years into it I realised that if I kept it up I could get a degree."
And he did. Nearly a decade after he lost almost everything, Michael finally graduated on 14 May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from WPI.
In the words of WPI President Laurie A. Leshin, "Mike could have stopped at any time. But he did not give up." Because of which, on 14 May, at the age of 54, he walked across the stage wearing his cap and gown and accepted his Bachelor's Degree.
Michael, as you can see now, made lemonade out of life's lemons!
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