He’s living proof that it’s never too late!
Elmo Desilva is a custodian at Indian Creek Elementary School in Clarkston, Georgia, NBC 12 news reports. Growing up, Desilva said he had to fend for himself, finding ways to care for him and his siblings since his parents weren’t around. As a result, he put his education on the back burner.
“I had to make money to put food on the table and clothes on their backs as a young teenager. It just pulled me out of school,” he explained.
Now a beloved district faculty member, Desilva came across a promotion to head custodian earlier this year, but quickly realized he would need a high school diploma for the position. Also thinking he was a perfect fit, school principal Stephanie Brown-Bryant recommended Desilva for the DeKalb County Adult Education Program.
“By having our staff members equipped with educational opportunities it lends itself to growth. Not just for them but for our school,” said Brown-Bryant.
Desilva admits he was nervous at first and it was challenging, taking night classes twice weekly for almost six months. But his hard work paid off and last week, he was one of 46 adults to receive their high school diploma during a graduation ceremony thrown by the district.
“I hate to fail at something. I didn’t want to start and not finish. I didn’t want to disappoint my boss…It wasn’t easy. It was a struggle for a while. But looking back, I am very proud,” said Desilva.
Now that he’s made such a monumental accomplishment, Desilva is looking towards the future, hoping to be promoted to head custodian so he can begin planning for retirement. Principal Brown-Bryant said she’s already given her co-sign of approval.
“I’ve already recommended him for the position,” she said.
Cover photo: 45-year-old Georgia custodian returns to school to earn high school diploma/Photo Courtesy of WGCL/NBC 12 news