SAN ANTONIO-- James Gomez said it was hard work completing college courses. The high school drop out earned a Bachelor's degree along with his wife and son--all three family members marched with the largest graduation class to come out of Texas A&M University in San Antonio.
"You just have to be willing to put in the work." said the proud graduate.
Gomez admits he had some troubles. He was an alcoholic and drug user who desperately wanted to change his life.
"I got down on my knees and I asked God to take all the drugs and alcohol away from me," he said.
Attending college classes seemed easier knowing his wife, Yolanda and son, Eric were on the journey with him as constant encouragement.
"Even when I didn't want to do homework or wanted to watch the Cowboys or Spurs, I had to go to the library and do my studies," he lamented.
Gomez said his sister, Carolyn Gomez Bayless, was a big help.
She bought him a laptop, books and paid for some of his courses.
Bayless said her brother was very deserving.
"He's never made any excuses. He sacrificed everything to make sure he accomplished his goal," she insisted.
Gomez gave his lots of credit too.
26 year old, Eric Gomez teaches at the Henry Ford Academy and in 2011 students named him Teacher of the Year.
Eric was prepared to shed tears of joy at the graduation.
"I kept joking with my students that I needed a box of tissues with me," Gomez said.
His mother, Yolanda Gomez, is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in education. The shy graduate did not want to talk.
Eric's grandfather, Manuel Gomez, drove from California for the ceremony and had not seen family members in more than 30 years.
James Gomez made preparation for a big family party following the tassel turning event at Freeman Coliseum, Friday night at 6pm.