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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

45-year-old African American man graduates US high school after years of working as school’s janitor

A 45-year-old African American man named Elmo Desilva has successfully graduated from DeKalb County High School after spending several years of working as the school’s janitor.

Elmo Desilva is man from Clarkston, Georgia who who works as a custodian at a DeKalb County High School said he has been aspiring to become the head custodian but it required him to have a high school diploma.

During his teenage years, Desilva was unable to graduate from high school due to the unstable living situation he faced with his parents who were not always around.

According to black news, he had to take on additional responsibilities for his younger siblings, making him delaying his own education. “It wasn’t easy. It was a struggle for a while. But looking back, I am very proud,” he said.


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“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 added..

While working as a custodian at DeKalb County, his potential was recognized by the school principal Stephanie Brown-Bryant, who guided him to enroll in 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,” Brown-Bryant said.



After nearly 6 months of attending night classes twice a week, Desilva received his high school diploma as one of the 46 adults who were honored at a graduation ceremony organized by the school district.

“I hate to fail at something. I didn’t want to start and not finish. I didn’t want to disappoint my boss,” he said.

Delsiva said now that he has a high school diploma, he has the opportunity to be promoted to head custodian, which would help him provide for his family, plan for retirement, and potentially open doors to further professional growth.

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