By CBSLA Staff

ORANGE (CBSLA) – Despite a childhood struggle with homelessness and the odds being stacked against him, a recent Chapman University, Dale E. Fowler Law School graduate is celebrating.

“I would not be here without every single person that has helped me,” Michael Romero said.

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As a child, Romero never thought he’d see something like law school graduation day, saying it felt surreal.

“It’s hard to explain, something that when you’re a kid and life seems like it’s not working out and it never will work out, to walk across the stage…,” he said.

Romero said this is a highpoint that he’ll always cherish, but added that he’ll never forget the low points.

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“Pretty much for eight years of my life, my family, we lived in our car most of the time, and I would sleep in the backseat of a car. …I didn’t even have an address to even go to school,” he said.

No one in Romero’s family had ever gone to college. It was just about survival, but in school, Romero persevered. With loved ones rooting for him and with the support of high school counselors and, later, college professors, he found his way.

“People helped me in small ways that they have no idea. For someone growing up poor and homeless, like me, we don’t know what that’s like. We don’t know the basic jargon or semantics of interviews. Having this degree, having the village around me that I do now just…our life is going to change. Our life has already changed in ways I can’t even imagine,” Romero said.

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As for the future, Romero already has a job lined up working as a tax consultant.