Watch CBS News

Philadelphia Man Who Dropped Out Of High School To Support Family Finally Graduates 27 Years Later

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The School District of Philadelphia held its mid-year graduation on Tuesday night, and 93 students celebrated their accomplishments. Among them was a man who proves it's never too late to achieve your goals.

In this sea of red, bright-eyed young faces mark Philadelphia's first graduating class of 2022. In their midst is Herbert Horner, who's old enough at 44 years old to be a father to most of them but tonight? The man who was supposed to be a member of the Class of 1995 finally reached the finish line.

"Pure joy," Horner said. "It's a heavy lift off my shoulders of knowing I achieved something I wanted to achieve many and many years ago, before most of the people on the stage was even born I wanted to achieve that goal. This is a blessing."

Horner is graduating 27 years later because sometimes life throws you a curveball. In his case? A baby girl at the age of 16.

"What made me drop out was my daughter needed Pampers, she needed milk, she needed me to actually provide," he said. "I made that choice to actually find another job and work two jobs to do what I had to do at the time."

And Horner is a walking, living, breathing example of how you handle life's challenges head-on no matter how long it takes.

"Every time I got to a point in any job whereas though I wanted to move above a shift supervisor I had to have proof of my education," he said, "which I couldn't provide."

So Horner went back to school and he shares this message with anyone having a rough go of it.

"I advise everyone to stay steadfast to your dreams," Horner said. "Don't let [no one] stop you. If you have any hurdles, strive to overcome those hurdles."

Horner views college classes in his future to continue his education, but first? His wife is making dinner and he intends on celebrating his success with both her and his adorable 7-year-old daughter Havanna.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.