Desmond Durham burns with the desire to win, the determination to work hard, and also lead by example. The soon-to-be 36-year-old is celebrating getting his master’s degree in educational leadership at Montclair State University.
However, his achievement is by no means a small feat. Combining his schooling with working three jobs, Durham teaches kids during the day, works with adults to help them get their GEDs, and also works on a basketball program for kids.
“I never considered myself being the smartest person, but the drive and the determination to keep going, …dedication, hard work, and long days, long nights, it’s the will,” Durham told abc7.
In addition to schooling and working three jobs, Durham is the father of a nine-year-old son, who watched his dad graduate with flying colors and serves as his motivation.
“My son, he’s my why and he’s the reason why I execute,” Durham said. “When he’s looking at me I gotta keep moving.”
Durham aims to become a high school principal in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
“I just want to be a reflection for my students and a positive light for them,” Durham said.
He was surrounded by his mother, son, and other relations at his graduation, and was also supported by his elementary school teacher, who became a university professor and his mentor.
“Anything is possible for any kid in Newark, if you go to school, if you apply yourself, keep your head on straight, and avoid the pitfalls life has for you, there are great things that can come about,” said Matthew Brewster of the Newark Board of Education.