42 year old, Mark Wahlberg, has finally completed high school and earned himself a diploma. An achievement that father of three was unable to reach in his youth as he dropped out of the education system in the 9th grade.

The former rapper grew up in a poverty stricken neighbourhood of Boston that was surrounded by drugs and crime, Wahlberg eventually found himself immersed in the think of it, stealing and selling drugs from an early age.

In a Huffington Post essay written by the actor, after receiving his diploma, states "[he] never made it past the ninth grade. My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working class neighbourhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences".

He further writes "I was fortunate to find out I could attend high school online. 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 'Two Guns' star received his diploma in June of this year (2013) and he told People.com the motivation behind this was for his children, "[he] didn't want the kids saying, 'You didn't do it, so why do I need it?' They are all wanting to do things in their future that require an education".

From a youth who was charged with attempted murder and sentenced to prison, to a platinum selling rapper in the early 90's and now one of Hollywood's top stars, Wahlberg is an inspiration and proof to troubled youths everywhere, anyone can turn their lives around.

The 'Pain & Gain' star who wants to be a role model for today's youths finished the essay by saying "If we don't live by example, then what do we live by? I am proud to re-introduce myself to you today as: Mark Wahlberg - High School Graduating Class of 2013".

Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg was arrested and charged with attempted murder in his pre-fame days