DENVER - Metro State University says on Sunday, they graduated its most diverse and largest class in its history with 1860 graduates.
Among the diverse student body was a man who many will say beat the odds. Cody Hickman took a break from studying one night to catch a midnight premier in Aurora. He was in Theater 8.
One room over, a gunman walked in and opened fire. Hickman made it out alive, but left with emotional trauma.
When the fall semester started, not only was he dealing with what happened over the summer, but he had a full course load, four children to care for and a job. But despite all of his challenges, he didn't give up. He didn't stop working hard and he made it to graduation.
"I don't have any bad days. I really don't have anything that I think is a bad day because I know what a bad day is like. To get to where I am now was just taking a lot of small steps and you just keep going and you don't think you have any reason to stop and you don't," Hickman said.
Hickman says he always wanted to be a public defender so that he could help people who don't have the funds to hire a high-powered attorney. However, after his experience in Theater 8, he decided to change course.
"I was going to be a public defender. I think it would be difficult now. The off chance that I would have to defend somebody who I thought was guilty, regardless of the presumption of innocence, I just don't think I can have that on my conscience," Hickman said.
In the fall, Hickman will begin law school at the University of Denver. He says he has considered constitutional law and prosecution so he can make sure that those who commit evil acts will be brought to justice.
Hickman says he has also started an online blog for victims of the theater shooting. He says it serves as a support system so no one has to feel like they're going through the emotional trauma alone.
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