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Watch: Determined Custodian Goes Back for Diploma to Get Promotion

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

An elementary school custodian in DeKalb County, Georgia, seeking a job promotion has displayed what is possible with hard work and determination.

The custodial team is vitally important to the day-to-day operations of any school. Without them, they building would be a disgusting mess. After all, we know kids are messy! For 45-year-old Elmo DeSilva, his goal was to be the head custodian at Indian Creek Elementary School. The only problem was the job required a high-school diploma. No problem! Back to school for DeSilva, and the rest is an inspirational story for students and adults alike!

Per Atlanta News First and via Breitbart, DeSilva said this about his long journey from being a high school dropout in Brooklyn to finally getting his GED:

“It wasn’t easy. It was a struggle for a while. And to achieve and get through it, and looking back, I am very proud,”

Indeed, it is a struggle to work a full time job, raise a family, and continue an education. For DeSilva, it was non-negotiable.

DeSilva joined over 40 other adults who also got their high school diplomas during the recent ceremony. However, for DeSilva, it was a long and difficult path that started in his youth. He explained:

“I didn’t have the support and the tools I needed as a young teenager to finish high school. You know, life struggles, parenting, you know. I just didn’t have the support system. So coming to Atlanta and being an adult with this program gave me the support that I needed to get the GED,”

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DeSilva moved to Atlanta in 2013 and started working as a custodian in 2017. As he grew in the job, he wanted to head the custodial team at the school he loves, but the only path was with a diploma, so he set his sights on achieving his goal with the help of his boss and mentor, Principal Stephanie Brown-Bryant.

Brown-Bryant hooked him up with the DeKalb County Adult Education Program, and for almost six months, DeSilva attended night classes two times a week. It was difficult, but DeSilva did not want to disappoint his principal, co-workers or his family, so he made it work.

DeSilva talked about what led to this point and how helping raise his siblings was priority one over school when he was young:

“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,”

Unfortunately, that is not an unusual situation for some folks. To his credit, he never played the victim and recognized that the path forward was through hard work and education. DeSilva’s co-workers have noted his work ethic and have heaped praise on his work ethic and example he sets.

The school’s plant engineer, Henry Williams, had nothing but good things to say about DeSilva, calling him “an awesome guy” who is on time, reliable, and a great co-worker.

Meanwhile, the promotion would benefit DeSilva’s family and also be good for his retirement.

Brown-Bryant said of the potential promotion that it was very likely he will be the candidate.

DeSilva’s principal has already endorsed him for the promotion. She said:

“To be honest, I’ve already recommended him for the position.”

Elmo DeSilva is living proof that if a person puts aside the victim mentality and focuses on bettering himself and his family through hard work and education, anything is possible.

Featured image screen grab from embedded YouTube video