SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— San Francisco State University held a special graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon for a student who was shot to death last month.

More than 40 family members, friends and university staff gathered for the ceremony honoring 26-year-old Stephen Guillermo. Emil Guillermo, his cousin said graduating SF State was his crowning achievement.

“It took him eight years because when his father died of cancer when he was 18, Stephen had to work two jobs and had to support the family,” he said.

Guillermo was shot in his SoMa apartment May 3rd after accidentally trying to enter the wrong unit.

Sharmaine Guillermo, 20, said the posthumous award makes her older brother the first in the family to graduate from college.

“His hard work paid off and he earned this, so it just means a lot to us and to him as well. I know that he’s looking down at us with a smile on his face,” she said.

Stephen worked towards earning a degree in international relations.