2 new grads from Sacred Heart bring collegiate recovery program to university

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BRIDGEPORT -

More than 2,200 Sacred Heart University students received diplomas at two commencement ceremonies this weekend, including two whose paths to graduation wasn't always so clear.

Student Timothy Holt had some doubts about his graduation.

"I didn't think I was going to get here. There was a much greater chance that I was going to be dead five years ago than walking across that stage with my friends and family watching,” he says.

Holt struggled with addiction for years, but with a strong support system, both at home and at Sacred Heart University, Holt was able to graduate with a master's degree in social work on Saturday.

On Sunday, fellow student James Cafran also walked across a stage he never thought he would. Cafran also battled through addiction.

"I had to go through school and sobriety and sometimes you feel like you may be the only person out there in school who's going through that,” he says.

The students are teaming up to bring a collegiate recovery program to Sacred Heart, the university that helped them find their way.

"That's kind of going to give students the opportunity that are in recovery to be able to come to a school and be able to get an education as well as maintain their sobriety,” says Cafran.

Cafran says they hope to give students a sense of belonging and to make sure everyone has a fair chance at success.

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