NewsFormerly Incarcerated Elder Earns Bachelors Degree At Age 79

Formerly Incarcerated Elder Earns Bachelors Degree At Age 79

Reverend Willie Ryals of Tallahassee, Florida, had every reason to let his educational pursuits die after serving nearly two decades in federal prison, but the 79-year-old kept a promise to himself by completing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from American Intercontinental University.

According to BlackNews, after a brief stint at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU)‘s Developmental Research school, Ryals decided to pursue a singing career but found himself in the Army after he grew tired of life on the road.l

While serving his time, Ryals completed high school and began taking college courses. He was released from prison in 1971. The time he spent incarcerated would help him to find his true passion.

“While I was in prison, I saw a need for criminal justice reform. There are too many young Blacks going to jail for crimes that they didn’t commit, and there needs to be some changes,” Ryals said.
Life would continue to take Ryals in new directions, but he never lost sight of his purpose.

“I’m happy for myself, because my father always wanted me to go after a degree,” he said.

“He’s passed and gone, but I’m keeping this promise.”
To his own family, wife Mandy and daughter Marionette, Ryals is a source of pride.
“He works all night and sometimes would have to prop his legs up for the swelling, but he would still go after it. I’m proud of him and very, very happy,” his wife said.
RELATED CONTENT: Pell Grants for Prisoners

Source: Black Enterprise

Travis Kelce has surprising dating dealbreakers (video)

Travis Kelce (Image source: YouTube/Watch What Happens Live) Travis Kelce was already one of the most famous sports stars in the country before he hooked...

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Wants To Close The Youth Mentorship Gap

0 Little Jaylen (right) and Big Jerome (left) in a still from the “It Takes Little to Be Big" campaign. (Big Brothers Big Sisters...

Rev. Al Sharpton Heads To Atlanta To Lend Support To Fearless Fund Co-Founders Rev. Al Sharpton Lends Support To Fearless Fund Co-Founders In Atlanta

0 (Photo: Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images) In a resolute stand against efforts to undermine affirmative action and diversity initiatives, Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder...

NFL Player Chandler Jones Alleges He Was Hospitalized Against His Will And Injected With ‘Unknown Substance’

NFL player Chandler Jones alleges he was taken to a mental health hospital against his will by the Las Vegas Fire Department and injected...

Raphael Saddiq Gave ‘Cuff It’ To Beyoncé But It Was Meant For Tony! Toni! Toné!

After winning a Grammy for co-writing Beyoncé’s “Cuff It.” Raphael Saadiq is finally ready to admit who the song was originally penned for. The famed...

Deborah Roberts Secures Her Spot As Permanent Anchor For ‘20/20’

0 GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 3/27/23 - Show coverage of Good Morning America on Monday, March 27, 2023 on ABC. (Photo by Michael Le...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

Travis Kelce has surprising dating dealbreakers (video)

Travis Kelce (Image source: YouTube/Watch What Happens Live) Travis Kelce...

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Wants To Close The Youth Mentorship Gap

0 Little Jaylen (right) and Big Jerome (left) in...

Newsletter

Don't miss

Travis Kelce has surprising dating dealbreakers (video)

Travis Kelce (Image source: YouTube/Watch What Happens Live) Travis Kelce...

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Wants To Close The Youth Mentorship Gap

0 Little Jaylen (right) and Big Jerome (left) in...

Raphael Saddiq Gave ‘Cuff It’ To Beyoncé But It Was Meant For Tony! Toni! Toné!

After winning a Grammy for co-writing Beyoncé’s “Cuff It.”...