It's never too late to pursue your passion or embark on a new journey of self-discovery. Leroy Harley exemplifies this sentiment as he embraced different career paths throughout his life.
From a dancer to a cosmetologist, Leroy's journey took an unexpected turn when he returned to his hometown of Bowman, South Carolina, to care for his ailing mother at the age of 69.
As Leroy settled back home, he found himself at a crossroads. His mother's health improved, leaving him with a choice: remain idle or seek new opportunities. It was then that his mother suggested he explore working in a school. Intrigued by the idea, Leroy became a teaching assistant at Bethune-Bowman Elementary School. Little did he know, this decision would ignite a newfound passion for educating young minds.
Leroy quickly fell in love with his role at the school, describing it as a place that brings him immense joy each morning. Inspired by his experience, Leroy made a life-changing decision in 2020—to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. He enrolled in the Transition to Teaching program at the University of South Carolina, eager to embark on this fulfilling journey.
However, Leroy encountered a setback when he fell ill shortly after starting his studies, forcing him to temporarily withdraw from the program. Fortunately, he made a full recovery and returned to his classes, undeterred in his pursuit of a teaching career.
Against all odds, Leroy accomplished his mission at the age of 71, graduating with a Master's Degree in Teaching. He hopes that his story serves as inspiration for others, encouraging them never to give up on learning and following their dreams. Leroy challenges the notion of retirement as a fixed milestone, emphasizing the value of accumulated wisdom and diverse life experiences that can positively impact students' lives.
Reflecting on his journey, Leroy recognizes the potential within every individual, regardless of age. He urges others to embrace the belief that they have something valuable to offer, not only from textbooks but also from their unique perspectives and life lessons. Leroy's message is clear: seize the opportunity to share your knowledge and make a difference in the lives of others.
Leroy's story serves as a powerful reminder to all of us who have contemplated what lies ahead. It reinforces the notion that it's never too late to pursue our dreams, as long as we are willing to put in the effort and embrace new possibilities. Leroy Harley stands as an inspiration, encouraging us to never stop learning and to fearlessly embark on the path towards our passions.