March 2, 2017
Zack Cleghorn with his diploma from East Carolina University. (Photo: provided by Zack Cleghorn)Four years ago, Zack Cleghorn was living in his car.
After returning home from a seven-year tour as a Marine in Japan, Afghanistan and the U.S., Cleghorn worked as a car salesman for several months to make ends meet. But he struggled with PTSD and depression.
“There was a time I didn’t want to wake up in the morning,” says Cleghorn, 28.
College, which no one in his family had attended, seemed like the best way to move forward. So he moved in with a friend and enrolled at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina, on a scholarship. Thanks to his financial aid package, he was able to pay for an apartment while he took classes.
Two years later, Cleghorn transferred to East Carolina University to finish his degree in industrial engineering technology. He graduated in December and, last week, received his diploma.
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