Meet Leroy Harley, a 71-year-old man hailing from South Carolina, United States, whose remarkable achievements are truly extraordinary. Recently, he accomplished something that speaks volumes about determination and inspiration—he earned a Master’s Degree in teaching from the esteemed University of South Carolina.
This incredible journey all began with a heartfelt conversation with his mother, who saw exceptional potential in Leroy as a teacher, irrespective of his age. Her words of encouragement ignited a spark within him, fueling his passion for education. Leroy, who was already an active council member in the town of Bowman, took a bold decision to embark on a new academic path in pursuit of his dreams.
At the age of 69, undeterred by the challenges that lay ahead, Leroy fearlessly embraced this new chapter in his life. Over the next two years, he dedicated himself to rigorous studies, burning the midnight oil during countless late-night study sessions. And finally, at the age of 71, Leroy’s unwavering dedication culminated in the proud moment of completing his Master’s Degree in Teaching.
This achievement not only fulfilled his mother’s belief in him but also allowed Leroy to live out his lifelong passion for teaching. With immense pride shining in his eyes, Leroy humbly expressed, “I am really proud of myself; I mean, I have to be.” And who wouldn’t be? On Saturday, May 14, 2022, his accomplishment was celebrated as he received his well-deserved certificate.
Even before Leroy embarked on his academic journey at the University of South Carolina, he had already gained valuable knowledge and experience from his time at Bethune-Bowman Elementary School, where he served as a dedicated teacher’s assistant. The insights and skills acquired during those years played a pivotal role in his successful pursuit of higher education.
Leroy’s story stands as a shining example of the power of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of lifelong learning. Embracing his mother’s encouragement and enrolling in higher education at an age when many might consider slowing down, Leroy proves that it’s never too late to chase your dreams and make a meaningful impact in the field of education.
His journey serves as an inspiration to individuals of all ages, showcasing that with passion, perseverance, and the unwavering support of loved ones, remarkable achievements can be realized. Leroy Harley’s story reminds us that age is not a barrier to personal growth and the pursuit of knowledge. He leaves behind a lasting legacy of dedication and an unwavering commitment to lifelong learning, inspiring us all to follow our dreams and reach for the stars.
Trending on Rising Africa is Mae Beale. She is not your typical college graduate, she is an 82-year-old retiree who decided to return to school in her late 70s to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). She received her diploma on May 18, 2022, the day after her 82nd birthday .
Beale’s story is one of perseverance, dedication and lifelong learning. She had a long and successful career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Washington, D.C., working at various health care and government agencies, including Children’s National Hospital, the National Naval Center, the Washington VA Medical Center Hospital, and the Department of Health and Human Services .
It was at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid where Beale discovered her passion for business and event planning. She organized several large events and conferences for the agency, which impressed her supervisors and inspired her to start her own event planning business, In Grand Style, in 1994 .
At the age of 54, Beale enrolled at Howard Community College to earn her associate degree in Business Management. She completed the program and decided to continue her education at UMGC, taking one class at a time to ensure she had enough time to devote to each course . Read more on Mae Beale here.