Stockton, CA— For most people, reaching the age of retirement means a shift in life away from full-time work and slowing down. For Kelly Graff, now that he is a graduate from UEI College in Stockton, life is busier than ever – at age 65.
“Kelly is one of the oldest graduates UEI has ever had, and he is truly an inspiration,” said Sandra Gracia, Executive Director at UEI College in Stockton. “He was the top of his class with near perfect attendance and 4.0 GPA.”
“Not bad for an old man,” Kelly said. “My experience at UEI was really wonderful.”
Kelly grew up in Santa Cruz. After high school he worked as a crew leader at a tannery, and started a family. Throughout his adult life, Kelly gained a lot of experience working various jobs like operating a printing press, construction work, and working at his parents’ small grocery store when he was younger. When it came time to retire as a laborer, he didn’t want to slow down.
“I didn’t like retirement. I’ve always been active” he said. “I was an athlete who played football and baseball. My jobs involved a lot of physical activity. I didn’t want to just lay down and retire.”
By day, Kelly works for a nonprofit organization in Stockton that helps parolees reintegrate into society from prison and become productive members of the community.
“It is very rewarding work. I’ve made some mistakes in my life but I was able to get my act together. Everyone deserves a second chance,” he said. Still, he wanted more.