He’s an actor, a producer, a model, a father of four and a former rapper ? and now he’s also a high school graduate!
The 42-year-old actor says he was inspired by his children. "I didn't want the kids saying, 'You didn't do it, so why do I need it? If we don't live by example, then what do we live by? I am proud to reintroduce myself to you today as Mark Wahlberg, high school graduating class of 2013.”
While he’s achieved and enjoyed immense success in Hollywood, Mark’s had a troubled childhood. He never made it past the ninth grade, after being charged with attempted murder.
The national problem for many of achieving an education, he says, was a personal one for him and one he’s immensely proud of as well. “My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working-class neighbourhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences.”
The most challenging part for Mark who began studying again at 41, was maths, even though he jokes he's "good at counting money and keeping track of my money".
He hired a tutor and took online classes between takes on the set of his new movie, Two Guns, but kept it a secret from costar Denzel Washington.
"Denzel was always asking me what I was doing but I didn't want to share that information with him," he says. "Nobody knew because I felt like I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, so I didn't want to say that I was doing it until I actually finished it.”
Now that he’s achieved his high school diploma, he’s hoping to pursue further studies. "I would love to go to USC [University of Southern California] and study film. I don't want to become a veterinarian or anything, [I want to study] things that further my career and broaden my horizon."
He encourages collective action towards the pursuit of education for all. “We need everyone ? families, leaders, and organisations ? to step up and take responsibility for their communities' educational futures.”
What an inspiration to all ? proof one is never too old to learn and never too wise to learn more.