For many people, getting a high school diploma is simply one of the many passages of life a person goes through on the way to getting a reasonable job and settling into life as an adult. Many Americans, however, are never able to achieve that diploma, and recently actor and producer Mark Wahlberg went back to school to prove that a high school diploma can be earned regardless of age.
On Tuesday, Wahlberg wrote a lengthy column for the Huffington Post explaining his decision to win his “toughest role yet.” In his article, Wahlberg talks about his unlikely success story in Hollywood, eventually making the list of highest paid actors in the country. Despite his success, the man’s worked for years to help out the more than 40 million Americans who have never graduated from high school via the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. His mission is personal, and he recently decided to set an example by working to get his own degree.
Over a year ago, Wahlberg did some research and determined he could achieve a high school degree by taking classes via the Internet. Here’s a segment from Wahlberg’s intriguing story.
“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.”
That’s the story, but it doesn’t really explain Wahlberg’s compassion for those individuals who have not had encouragement from those around them to stay in school or go back to school and earn their high school degree. He drops some hot facts in the article, as well, explaining that those who don’t get a high school degree will earn a salary average of $200,000 less than those who do earn a high school degree across a lifetime, and those numbers aren’t taking into account how much less non-degreed people make than those who get a college degree or a graduate degree.
I think that most people have had some doubts, if not in high school than maybe in college or even graduate school, about the path they are on in life. Sometimes the difference between sticking with something and quitting something is the love and support a person’s friends, family, and peers are able to give them. Everyone faces different challenges in his or her lifetime, and sometimes going back to school, but Wahlberg has set an enviable example of achievement in his lifetime, and hopefully some individuals who are wanting to go back and get their high school degrees can use the celebrity as the motivation to turn their own lives around.