Zack Cleghorn served seven-years in the Marine Corps. Four years after leaving the Corps, he was homeless and living in his car, struggling with PTSD and depression.
Today, Cleghorn has found a new path and became the first person to graduate from college in his family.
“Some people start from the bottom and as they get to a better position they forget the bottom,” Cleghorn told USA Today. “I remember being a student every day as I walk through the halls.”
When Cleghorn was homeless, he knew he needed a change. He eventually moved in with a friend and began taking classes at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina.
Later, Cleghorn transferred to East Carolina University, earning a degree in industrial engineering technology.
“I never thought I would have an education, and now look at me,” Cleghorn told the newspaper. “I’m the only college graduate in my family.”
Now Cleghorn is helping other veterans find jobs as an instructor coordinator at Pitt.
“There are thousands of veterans in the same shoes I was in, and unfortunately some of them don’t get out of these shoes,” Cleghorn told USA Today. “I feel like I’m on the earth to help people.”
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