Mark Wahlberg graduates high school at 42

Actor, producer, model and former rapper Mark Wahlberg can now add one more thing to his long list of life achievements -- high school graduate.

The 42-year-old star announced in an op-ed that he had been taking online classes for over a year, finally earning his high school diploma after dropping out in ninth grade.

He explained: "My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working class neighbourhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences."

"Most high school dropouts don't end up with successful careers in Hollywood," he added. "I was lucky. Compared with high school graduates, dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty or on public assistance."

The Pain & Gain star is nothing if not determined. He told David Letterman back in June 2012 that he would do whatever it took to reach his goal and pass the G.E.D.

"They're going to give me whatever credits I already have, which is probably like one or two, but I'm going to make it happen," Wahlberg promised.

The father-of-four says he hopes to help motivate other impoverished children and teens through his Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation charity, which supports kids in getting back on their feet and staying in school. 

"To those students struggling every day and -- most importantly -- to those who are looking for a second chance, I have a message for you: never give up," he said.

Congratulations, Mark!

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