Desmond Durham, a dedicated single father from New Jersey, experienced a moment of triumph as he flipped his tassel and tossed his cap at his graduation ceremony. This accomplishment wasn't just for himself but for his son as well.
Durham, 36, pursued a master's degree in arts and educational leadership, facing a demanding schedule that revolved around caring for his son. "My schedule was very demanding, from waking up between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and ensuring that my son was fed, his homework was completed... I probably didn't go to bed until 12 a.m., maybe 1 a.m. every night, just to wake back up and do it all over again," Durham shared on "Good Morning America." Despite the challenges, he firmly believed in the realization of his dream.
As the only sibling among seven to graduate with a college degree, Durham had been working as an educator for the past 13 years. Balancing three jobs, his decision to return to school was a leap of faith for both his own future and his son's. He often reflected on his family during tough times, recognizing them as his purpose for pursuing education.
"So every single day, I had to remind myself that it's a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal," Durham explained.
Finally, on May 23, at Montclair State University, all of Durham's hard work paid off as he proudly walked across the stage to receive his diploma. His dedication and commitment were recognized when he was asked to deliver the commencement speech.
Rachel Garver, a professor at Montclair State University, expressed admiration for Durham's ability to handle his responsibilities and produce high-quality work while juggling numerous commitments. "I knew how much he had on his plate and was impressed with everything he was able to handle and hand in such quality graduate school work," Garver said.
Durham deeply values education, understanding its potential to broaden his impact on the world and shape his son's future. "My son, he's my why, and he's the reason why I execute," Durham shared. "When he's looking at me, I gotta keep moving."
Currently, Durham is embarking on a new role in education, reaping the rewards of his hard work and determination.
Watch this video here:
If this story inspired you, spread it with someone who needs to read it. Stay Inspired
Via ABC7 NY