This Teen and Her 82-Year-Old Grandpa Are More Than Family…They’re Classmates

This is Melanie Salazar, 18, and her 82-year-old grandfather, Rene Neira, who share a pretty unique bond.

Salazar just started her first year at Palo Alto College, where her grandpa is taking the last class he needs to get his associate’s degree in economics, which makes them classmates.
Neira briefly attended St. Mary’s University in the 1950s, but put his education on hold when he got married and started a family.

He took classes here and there, but after his wife passed in 2009, he became determined to graduate and started back up in the spring.


Now as classmates, Salazar and Neira walk each other to class and often meet for lunch.

“It’s been pretty awesome,” she said. “I know it’s only going to be for one semester, but I’m going to cherish that while I can.”