A father and a son graduated from the New Jersey university on Friday became the first members of their family to earn college degrees.
“It was great,” Benjamin Jeanty told Fox News on Friday, just hours after he and his father, Duvinson, moved their tassels from right to left, in their graduation ceremony at William Paterson University.
“Never in a million years have I ever dreamed to go to school with my father,” Jeanty added.
Jeanty, 27, said he was a senior in high school, when his father, a Haitian immigrant, decided to go to the university, who was 53 years old.
“He gave us the example, that we must always look to better ourselves,” Jeanty said.
Duvinson Jeanty, who is now 63, came to the United States in the mid-1980s and worked as a bus driver for N. J. Transit for 27 years. He retired in 2015.
The younger Jeanty began classes at Rutgers University in 2008, but left a year later to work full-time at Smashburger. Three years later, he was eager to do something new, taking a cue from the advice of his father.
“I start making good money, and making money is cool, but how am I serving the community? How can I help others?” he said.
NORTH TEXAS TRIPLETS GRADUATE TOP OF THEIR HIGH SCHOOL CLASS
Jeanty went back to the university and enrolled part-time while working at a special school. Meanwhile, his father continued to take classes at William Paterson University while working as a N. J. Transit bus driver. Jeanty transferred to the university last year.
“I thought I was going to end for him, because I thought I knew it all when,” Jeanty said.
In the words of @thenotoriousmma, “It’s over!” We did it, Dad! 👨🏾🎓🇭🇹❤️🙌🏾🎉 #Graduation #WPUNJ #WPUNJ2017 #ClassOf2017 #FatherAndSon #DoubleTrouble #Haiti #WPMentoring #BlackExcellence
On Friday morning, they both got their diplomas — ‘m in the psychology and Duvinson in finance.
“The graduation was incredible. This morning I was so emotionally ready and listening to my favorite song,” Jeanty recalled.
Jeanty said he works full-time at the special needs school after graduation. His father, who is also looking to get his masters in finance, will be running his real estate company he started.