I heart Mark Wahlberg. I always have, really…. I think he’s super talented…. most of the time. Some of his movies just do NOT need to be made ‘Pain and Gain,’ but others end up being some of my favorite movies of all time ‘The Departed.’ He also created some of TV’s best shows, including ‘Entourage’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire.’ I love how dedicated he seems to be to his wife (above). I love that he has a gaggle of kids, and seems to love every minute of it. He considers himself a born again Christian, and says he changed his way because of his family.
Anyway, the actor has finally graduated high school – at the age of 42. Better late than never! He wrote an open letter to Huffington Post about why he decided to go back and get his diploma.
I never made it past the ninth grade. My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working class neighborhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences.
Most high school dropouts don’t end up with successful careers in Hollywood. I was lucky. Compared with high school graduates, dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty or on public assistance.
And this doesn’t just affect an unlucky few. Every day, 7,000 students drop out of high school – more than 1.2 million a year. More than 40 million adults nationwide lack a high school diploma. These high school dropouts typically earn $200,000 less than high school graduates over their lifetime.
For me, this crisis isn’t just a national problem. It’s entirely personal.
I was fortunate to find out I could attend high school online. For almost a year, I’ve been taking classes and studying any chance I could get – on the set, traveling for work and at home. It has been both humbling and challenging, but I’m happy to report that I am officially a high school graduate, having received my diploma this summer.
It shouldn’t take luck for people to be able to access the education they need to help overcome life’s obstacles. Investment in education is a no-brainer in promoting personal and career growth and supporting our economic recovery.
We need everyone — families, leaders, and organizations — to step up and take responsibility for their communities’ educational futures.
I was able to do it because I knew I wasn’t alone, that other teens and adults were going through the same thing I was in balancing work and family in order to better themselves. To those students struggling every day and – most importantly — to those who are looking for a second chance, I have a message for you: never give up. Keep believing in yourselves and don’t make small plans.
You are not alone. I can now look at my kids every day knowing that I didn’t just do this for me — I did it for them, and I did it for all the other teens and adults who have inspired me by their commitment to graduate.
If we don’t live by example, then what do we live by? I am proud to re-introduce myself to you today as:
Mark Wahlberg – High School Graduating Class of 2013.
I think it’s really commendable to go back and get your diploma now – some 20+ years later. I think it’s great. It would be tough! I have a son in 8th grade, and I probably couldn’t do his homework if I had a gun pointed at my head. You get out of thinking like that – and it’s hard to go back!
Kudos to him!
Posted Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 at 7:07am
Filed under Mark Wahlberg