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Mark Wahlberg announces he graduated high school, asks for help for others

Posted by Emily Wright  September 17, 2013 01:37 PM

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Twenty-five years after Mark Wahlberg dropped out of Copley Square High School (now known as Snowden) in the ninth grade, the 42-year-old actor has finished his diploma requirements and is now a high school graduate, according to a column he wrote for The Huffington Post.

In "Winning My Toughest Role Yet: High School Grad," Wahlberg, a Dorchester native, chronicles the struggles he faced growing up in a working class neighborhood, surrounded by "drugs, violence and crime," and the battle he fought to stay on the right path "without positive influences."

Wahlberg announced that he was going to go back to school in June 2012 with the help of current Snowden headmaster Kerry Torndorf who enrolled Wahlberg in the Accelerated Learning Academy at Snowden.

Wahlberg wrote in the Huff Post:

For almost a year, I've been taking classes and studying any chance I could get - on the set, traveling for work and at home. It has been both humbling and challenging, but I'm happy to report that I am officially a high school graduate, having received my diploma this summer.

The program's classes are completed online and, according to an earlier piece published by The Boston Globe, "Students must log in at least once a week. They read course material and have to pass exams for each chapter, all online." At the time the article was published, 1,200 students had enrolled in diploma-granting programs like Snowden's.

Although the "Shooter" star is happy to have completed the program, he knows that there are many others out there like him that need help, and he urged people to take action in his Huffington Post piece:

We need everyone -- families, leaders, and organizations -- to step up and take responsibility for their communities' educational futures.

I was able to do it because I knew I wasn't alone, that other teens and adults were going through the same thing I was in balancing work and family in order to better themselves. 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. Keep believing in yourselves and don't make small plans.

He closed the piece by announcing himself as "Mark Wahlberg - High School Graduating Class of 2013."

Congratulations, Mark!

Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.

In other Wahlberg news:, Mark's brother Donnie was in the North End this weekend to film some scenes for "Boston's Finest" and he chatted with us about the show, his other upcoming projects, and his personal life. Check out the video interview in Viewer Discretion.


About Pop Radar's entertainment staff brings you the latest celebrity news and pop culture updates, along with discussions on the day's hot topics. And you're invited to weigh in. Let's dish.


Katie McLeod is's features editor.

Kristi Palma is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at

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