U.S. Army veteran Nicholas Kridos wasn’t proud of his grade point average. The 1.6 from his first attempt at college got him turned down at every school he applied to transfer into. Except the University of Louisville.

Welcomed in 2018 on the condition he would keep up his grades, Kridos graduates this month with his bachelor’s in political science. He credits his parents and UofL’s dedication to every student’s success for giving him the second chance he needed to make his dreams come true.

“The only place that even gave me an opportunity to show that I had matured and learned from my mistakes was UofL by admitting me on a GPA-restricted basis,” said Kridos, who transferred from Methodist University in North Carolina. “Granting me this opportunity was a blessing, as I was able to make use of all the programs they have in place to make students successful, such as REACH (Resources for Academic Achievement) and other tutoring services and now will be graduating with a 3.8 GPA. I’m so thankful UofL took a chance on me and I was able to obtain my degree.”

The former Army corporal and Coral Springs, Florida, native served at Fort Campbell as a field artillery operator. He graduated from U.S. Army Air Assault School at the top of his class and earned four Army commendation medals. He worked part-time at The Cheesecake Factory while taking his UofL classes and plans to go to law school in the fall.

In the spring, with a busy schedule of 21 credit hours, the sudden change to online classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions “threw me for a loop at first,” he said. 

“Taking 21 credit hours a semester already presents its own challenges, but then to abruptly move all of that online … was very tough. But I was able to overcome and finish that semester with all As,” he said. “This fall semester has been much smoother and my professors are very accommodating.”

Among his favorite professors was Tami Harbolt of women’s, gender and sexuality studies. 

“She cares about her students and it shows,” he said. “The amount of times she had one-on-one conversations with me after class just to gauge how I was doing or check on my mental health is something I will forever be grateful for.”

Kridos said he is also thankful for his parents, who “worked tirelessly my entire life to make sure I always had a roof over my head and a meal to eat. … My graduation is because of them. They believed in me when no one else did and I can’t explain what it means to have that type of support and inspiration in your life every day.” 

We think you just did, corporal.