Man, 54, Graduates College After a Lifetime Battling Alcoholism, Homelessness and Jail Time
This U.K. man witnessed the power of miracles first hand when he graduated from college eight years after his fight against alcoholism, homelessness and even prison.
54-year-old Andy Davies from Gobowen, England, graduated from the University of South Wales earlier this summer with a degree in English, but his road to success has been long and difficult at times.
Davies told InsideEdition.com that his rocky start began when he was a boy.
"I was always a car crash waiting to happen," Davies said.
He said his father left their family of 10, and his mom could hardly afford for him to eat.
He attended school for the free meals, but dropped out at 16 to join the Royal Air Force and eventually began working as an aircraft technician.
"That is when my relationship with booze began," he said.
Davies said he was mixed up with "the type of people who would rob their own grandmother for the price of a bottle," and was homeless for part of that period of his life.
He eventually was charged with a lengthy list of petty offenses, including shoplifting and public intoxication, but instead of trying to get off light, "I eventually asked for a prison sentence. I knew I had to be separated from alcohol and in there, I would be able to seek rehabilitation."
Davies spent 30 days in prison, where he was inspired by a man he encountered to change.
"I believed I could become the person I was born to be, which wasn't the self-loathing, piece of sh*t I'd become," he said.
He then spent the following six months in rehab getting clean before returning to his job at the Royal Air Force.
"I was getting a little irritable with life as an aircraft technician and a friend of mine asked if I'd got sober to be miserable," he recalled. "Of course I hadn't. I had spent years being miserable."
He spoke to a career advisor, and was shocked with the idea of continuing his studies.
He later completed a pre-college program before embarking on his degree in English at the University of South Wales.
Four years later, Davies, a father of three and grandfather of four, is teaching English in Italy, and hopes his story will inspire others.
"There is a light at the end of the tunnel," he told InsideEdition.com. "Eight years ago, I had a hopeless end planned. Today, my life is full of endless hope."