Determined Black Man Returns To School To Earn High School Diploma At 45: "I Am Very Proud"

Determined Black Man Returns To School To Earn High School Diploma At 45: "I Am Very Proud"

  • A caretaker at Indian Creek Elementary School in Clarkston, Georgia, has completed high school in the US
  • Elmo Desilva, 45, defied several difficulties when he returned to school to prepare for a job promotion
  • The determined Black man is now looking ahead after such a big achievement of being promoted to head custodian

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Elmo Desilva, a custodian at Indian Creek Elementary School in Clarkston, Georgia, returned to school to better prepare for job advancement.

The 45-year-old had to put his education on the back burner to fend for himself and his siblings since their parents weren't around.

Desilva recalls difficult times

He reflected on his life history, recalling how he struggled due to financial constraints.

Photo of Elmo Desilva.
Black man earns high school diploma at 45. Photo credit: Carol Yepes/NBC 12 news.
Source: Getty Images

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"I had to make money to put food on the table and clothes on their backs as a young teenager. It just pulled me out of school," he explained, according to NBC 12 news.

Early this year, he learned about a promotion to chief custodian but quickly realised he would need a high school diploma.

He was also recommended for the DeKalb County Adult Education Program by school principal Stephanie Brown-Bryant, who thought he was a wonderful fit.

Desilva admits that taking night lessons twice weekly for nearly six months was uncomfortable. His efforts, however, were rewarded, as he was one of 46 people who received their high school diplomas last week at a district-hosted graduation ceremony.

"... It was a struggle for a while. But looking back, I am very proud," said Desilva.

Desilva graduates with high school diploma

Desilva is looking ahead now that he's accomplished so much, hoping to be promoted to head custodian and begin planning for retirement.

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Single Black father graduates with masters degree while working 3 jobs to care for his son

Hearing-impaired GH lady earns master's in Business Technology Management from UMaT

In a previous story, reported that a hearing-impaired Ghanaian lady graduated from the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) with a master's degree.

Lydia Abayie Acquah graduated from the Faculty of Integrated Management Science with a Master of Business Technology Management (MBTM) degree and a Cumulative Weighted Average (CWA) of 76.80% during the just-ended 14th Congregation.

According to the university, Acquah has suffered hearing loss since she was about 10 years old.

Black girl is the youngest student to earn a bachelor's degree from Langston University at 15

Still on education, earlier reported that Shania Muhammad earned a bachelor's degree from Langston University in the United States after making history as the school's youngest student to receive an associate degree.

Before her recent success, the 15-year-old had another associate degree under her name at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC).

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Nathaniel Crabbe avatar

Nathaniel Crabbe (Human-Interest editor) Nathaniel Crabbe is a journalist and editor with a degree in Journalism from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, where he graduated in 2015. He earned his master's from UPSA in December 2023. Before becoming an editor/writer of political/entertainment and human interest stories at Asaase Radio, Crabbe was a news reporter at TV3 Ghana. With experience spanning over ten years, he now works at as a human interest editor. You can reach him via