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The Do Gooders Podcast

May 17, 2021

When Joseph Valadez posted a photo of himself outside of his college, he never could've seen the response coming.

Joseph, in a white tank top, beige chino shorts and black Nike Cortez, held a graduation certificate in his tattooed arms.

It went viral and media outlets started calling.

Joseph graduated this year from Cal State University, Long Beach on the president's honor list with a bachelor's degree in sociology.

He's 63.

And he spent much of his life addicted to heroin. Joseph went to prison a staggering 40 times on various drug-related offenses before entering The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Anaheim, California.

He reached a point, he said, where he knew he had to change and he started calling programs, looking for help. But no one wanted him, he said, until he called The Salvation Army.

That cost-free, residential, addictions work-therapy program is one of more than 130 in America in which The Salvation Army aims to help people break the chains of addiction and find not only sobriety, but recovery.

The Salvation Army equips more than 150,000 people every single year to combat addiction, regain health and stability, build work and social skills, and restore families.

And Joseph says it saved his life.

He’s on the show to share his story and exciting news for what's next.


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FIGHT FOR GOOD. Give to The Salvation Army.