Actor Mark Wahlberg can now add one more achievement to his already long list of accomplishments. The 42-year-old actor recently received his high school diploma after dropping out of high school as a teenager.
Wahlberg said he dropped out of high school in the ninth grade due to the unfortunate and unfavorable circumstances that haunt many teens as they are growing up. He was raised in Boston in a tough working-class neighborhood enveloped in a host of negative influences such as violence, crime and drugs, to name a few. He did not have a lot of positive influences so he struggled, to no avail, to stay on the right path. He said he was lucky because very few people who drop out of school have the opportunity to be as successful as he has been.
According to Wahlberg, his four children were his biggest reason for returning to school. He did not want them to feel that it was okay not to finish school because their father had not, although he still achieved success. Education is important to the future of anyone desiring success and he wants them to understand that.
Mr Wahlberg said he intends to lead by example and wants to remind those that admire the way his life has turned out that it simply is not the norm. Kids who drop out of school are more likely to end up unemployed and forced to live on public assistance and in poor health and poverty. He is grateful for the success he has but knows it is not typical.
The star said at his age it was much harder than if he had just remained in school and did it when he was supposed to. As an adult it becomes drastically more difficult before there are so many other responsibilities on the forefront that have to be juggled. It took him awhile to get back and then to get through it but he knew it was something he had to do so he stuck with it.
Wahlberg took online courses which many times challenged his focus because he was balancing family and work at the same time. During his time spent on the set of Two Guns with co-star Denzel Washington, Wahlberg had to hire a tutor and study in between takes. He chose to do it secretly because he did not want Mr Washington to know.
Washington kept asking what he was doing but he did not want to tell him. He did not want to say it to anyone in case he could not actually accomplish what he set out to do. He compared it to counting his chickens before they actually hatch. Well now he wants the world to know because he did it.
Now he is utilizing the public platform, life has afforded him the chance to empower other young people by being a positive influence and giving them educational resources; something he wished someone had taken the time to do for him. Wahlberg and his foundation, the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, have teamed up with the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens as a means to give back.
Life is not necessarily about what happens to people, instead it is more about how they choose to respond to it. Life is cyclical and everyone is rotating between struggles and good times. The quicker people realize that, the sooner they can make peace with the challenges life has brought their way.
It seems easier in the midst of adversity to just succumb to the pressure and check out. But that mentality generally produces a negative outcome and forces people to spend a great deal of effort in their latter years trying to get it right. The good thing is although it may be difficult it is definitely not impossible.
People are never too old to change, all it takes is the guts to get busy – today – doing something about it. It doesn’t cost a thing to dream but if you really desire change you will have to stop talking about it and do something about it. Get up and get busy taking it one step at a time. It took Wahlberg an entire year to get his diploma while juggling a family and successful career but he put forth the effort and has now been rewarded.
Wahlberg said it shouldn’t require luck for anyone to access the education they need to overcome the obstacles of life. Now he can look at his kids every day, without the shame, knowing that he did it. He didn’t just do it for him but he did it for his children and all the other children and adults who have inspired him by their commitment to education.
He doesn’t plan to stop with his high school diploma but intends to go on to Film school. Whatever tomorrow holds for this 42-year-old husband, father and actor he can now add one more achievement to his already long list of accomplishments. Congratulations Mark Wahlberg on receiving your High School diploma.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)