He’s a superhero by day and night!
Desmond Durham didn’t have an easy life growing up. One of seven siblings, Durham was raised by a single mom after his father was murdered when he was just 11 years old, Good Morning America (GMA) reports. That traumatic loss, coupled with his mother’s love would eventually shape his trajectory in life, Durham becoming an educator and devoted father to his own son.
“[My father’s] absence from my life has only motivated me to become the best father figure to my son and a role model to all of the students that I encounter in my teaching career,” said Durham.
For the last 13 years, Durham has been working in education. He is also a single father to his 9-year-old son Desmond Jr. Two years ago, he made the tough decision to return to school to earn his master’s degree, calling the decision “a leap of faith.” In addition to his rigorous academic schedule, Durham also took on extra gigs, juggling three jobs and school on top of raising his son, earning the rightful title of “Super Dad.”
“My schedule was very demanding, from waking up between 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and ensuring that my son was fed, his homework was completed…I probably didn’t go to bed until 12 a.m., maybe 1 a.m. every night, just to wake back up and do it all over again,” Durham recalled.
Now all of his hard work has paid off, the 36-year-old recently graduating from Montclair State University with a master’s in arts and educational leadership. He delivered the commencement speech to the 2023 graduating class, reflecting on his journey and his son and mom, which he calls his “why.”
“Every single day, I had to remind myself that it’s a short-term sacrifice for a long-term goal…Find something that you love that’s going to help you ignite that flame to keep going. You have to know why you do what you do and as long as you know your ‘why’ it’s gonna drive you every single day,” said Durham.
While it was challenging, Durham said he knew that going back to school would “ultimately change [his] life,” opening up professional opportunities and setting a strong example for his son. Now that he’s finished, he is looking for another job in the educational field, but first, he’s taking the summer off to spend time with his namesake.
“He’s excited about what we are going to do next. He wants to go to the water park,” Durham told reporters.
Congratulations Desmond! Sky’s the limit!
Cover photo: NJ “Super Dad” who worked 3 jobs as a single father just graduated with his master’s/Photo Courtesy of Desmond Durham/Good Morning America