By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – Aaron Morales of Midlothian did everything a senior in high school normally does to prepare for graduations. The 18-year-old created his senior yearbook page and got his picture taken in his cap and gown. The problem is, he never graduated.

Aaron says he cared more about getting high and less about getting his diploma from Midlothian High School, so he dropped out just two credits short.  Six months later, he realized his terrible mistake.

“I started using it and using it and using it. From there, it escalated to more than marijuana.”

Aaron went to rehab and went back to school.  Not just any school, mind you. He signed up for DeSoto High School’s Wings program for dropouts who want a diploma, rather than a just GED.

“We all thought we would never get through to him. But something did and I’m really glad,” says Aaron’s mother Melinda Salas.

With a combination of on-line courses and teacher supervision, dropouts from around the state are encouraged to come to North Texas and get their diploma from DeSoto High School.

That’s exactly what Aaron and four other students did. On Thursday night, they became the very first graduates of the Wings program and in the end; Aaron got the diploma he nearly walked away from.

“I just love it because everyone is so proud of me and I’ve never really had that before.”