Gator Grit: 2 UHD students overcome odds to graduate

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Friday, December 15, 2017
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Two University of Houston - Downtown students have overcome challenges to receive their degrees this Saturday.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two University of Houston - Downtown students with the odds stacked against them will receive their bachelor's degrees on Saturday.

The school is recognizing Denetta Bailey, 64, and Anissa Veal, 49, for their "Gator Grit" - a term used to celebrate the determination of its students. The gator part is named after UHD's mascot.

Bailey was paralyzed from the waist down several years ago. She's since learned to walk and will be the oldest graduate to walk the stage. Bailey has earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

Veal is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies after raising three sons, dealing with job loss and battling cancer.

Veal enrolled at UHD while working three jobs. She's also now cancer-free.

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"Their respective stories reflect a sense of resiliency found in many of our students, and I look forward to seeing them finish UHD strong during this weekend's commencement ceremony," UHD President Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz said.

UHD's commencement program will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Minute Maid Park.

Related: At last: HFD firefighter earns college degree after 40 years

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