The actor finally completed his high school education not only for himself and his children, but also for ‘all the other teens and adults who have inspired me by their commitment to graduate.’
Mark Wahlberg’s wild youth caused him to drop out of school in the ninth grade. Now, the actor is finally a high school graduate.
“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,” he wrote in a Huffington Post Op-Ed Monday about his childhood in Boston.
At 42 years old, Wahlberg received his diploma in June, reports People Magazine. The inspiration for his educational pursuit was none other than his four children.
“I didn’t want the kids saying, ‘You didn’t do it, so why do I need it?'” he said. “They are all wanting to do things in their future that require an education.”
As Wahlberg leads by example he also wanted to remind young people that the way his life turned out without an education is not the norm for those that leave school early.
“Most high school dropouts don’t end up with successful careers in Hollywood,” he wrote. “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.”
Although it took him some time to return to the books, Wahlberg realized it was something he should have done a lot sooner.
“I wondered, ‘Why didn’t I do it when I was there?'” he told People at an event in Irvine, Calif., Monday for the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens. “It’s so much harder at 41 going back and trying to do all these difficult tasks.”