A single father who managed to work multiple jobs and return to school was commended for earning an exceptional master’s degree.

Desmond Durham, a resident of New Jersey, received his master’s degree in arts and educational leadership from Montclair State University in May.

Even though it is a tremendous feat, the parent opened up to Good Morning America about the challenges he faced while juggling his three jobs, late-night studying, and taking care of his son.

My schedule was quite demanding, requiring me to get up between 5 and 6 in the morning to make sure my son ate and finished his homework. Every night, I probably didn’t go to bed until 12 or 1 a.m., just to wake up and repeat the process, he admitted to the media source.

The only sibling out of seven to complete college is Durham, who has been a teacher for the past 13 years.

He admitted that he was reluctant to go back to school and complete his degree because of working numerous jobs and being the only parent of his nine-year-old son, Desmond Jr.

But he was confident that his efforts would inspire his son, telling them that “it will ultimately change my life, my son’s life, and I can be able to impact the kids on a greater scale.”

The exceptional graduate performed so well in his course work that he was even asked to deliver a commencement address to the colleges of science and mathematics and of education and human services. The speech has since received over 14K views on YouTube as of this writing.

Durham talked on how his mother, who raised him and his seven siblings as a single parent, was the one who initially introduced him to his love of study.

He also disclosed that his father had been killed when he was only 11 years old and how the tragedy had affected his upbringing and professional decisions.

Durham said during his speech that “[my father’s] absence from my life has only motivated me to become the best father figure to my son and a role model to all of the students that I encounter in my teaching career.”

Durham acknowledged that he often thought about his mother, son, and the reason he wanted to return to school for his master’s degree while he was in school. He added: “Every single day, I had to remind myself that it’s a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal.”

He now gives guidance to students or those considering returning to school using his status as a beloved teacher in the community.

Durham emphasized, “Find something you love that will help you ignite that flame to keep going.” You must understand the motivation behind your actions since this will keep you motivated every day as long as you are aware of it.

Durham deserves congratulations for his accomplishment!

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