Mark Wahlberg graduates high school

US actor Mark Wahlberg poses on February 06, 2013 in Rome, during a photo-call to promote his new film "Broken City". AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) GABRIEL BOUYS

Mark Wahlberg is now a high school graduate.

The 42-year-old actor, who received his high school diploma in June through an online program, celebrated the milestone at an event for the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens in Irvine, Calif., on Monday.

"It's also a huge sense of relief," he told People. "I wondered, 'Why didn't I do it when I was there?' It's so much harder at 41 going back and trying to do all these difficult tasks."

While at the event for the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, Wahlberg presented scholarships to Taco Bell employees as part of its pilot program.

Wahlberg announced his school plans in June 2012 during a visit to "The Late Show with David Letterman."

"They have this new program in Massachusetts where you can actually take the courses online. So I'm starting this month in New Orleans," he said, noting that he would do coursework while on the set. And that's exactly what he did. On Monday, Wahlberg said he studied while filming "2 Guns," even trying to keep it a secret from co-star Denzel Washington.

"Denzel was always asking me what I was doing but I didn't want to share that information with him," he told People. "Nobody knew, because I felt like I don't like to count my chickens before they hatch, so I didn't want to say that I was doing it until I actually finished it. What if I said I'm doing this and I didn't finish it?"

It had been a while since Wahlberg had hit the books. The Boston native dropped out of high school in ninth grade and hadn't been back since. But now, it sounds as though he's caught the school bug, revealing that college could be in his future. "I would love to go to USC and study film," he said.

Meanwhile, Wahlberg has a busy schedule lined up, with "Ted 2" in the works and roles in "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and "Lone Survivor" coming up in 2014. Not to mention his work as a producer on shows, including "Boardwalk Empire."

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