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Rasan Portlock and son RyheimRasan Portlock, 29, brought his 10-year-old son, Ryheim to tears during an emotional ‘Today’ interview talking about his academic success and “big dreams,” reports theGrio.com.

Speaking with NBC’s chief education correspondent Rehema Ellis, Portlock said that he’s seen huge strides in the quality of education at Devonshire Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C. and he believes that the school was previously apathetic about its student:

“I didn’t know if they really cared about what they were teaching him or not,” he said. “Now you can tell that there’s more concern about the children’s growth. It’s more about learning, it’s an experience, it’s better. It’s about success.”

The proud father talked about Ryheim’s thirst for knowledge, that has been present since birth, and his refusal to back down from a challenge.

“He’s always had big dreams, from a child he always wanted to be something,” Portlock said.

At his father’s urging, Ryheim said that he used to want to be a doctor, but now he wants to be a genetic engineer.

Tears had begun to form in the little scholar’s eyes while his father was speaking about how proud he is of him and how much he loves him. Ellis asked what had Portlock said to make him cry, and Ryheim,  struggling to speak said, “[When he said] that he really looks forward to me growing up and becoming… ”

Portlock jumped in and finished the sentence for him: “Whatever you want to be,” he said.

Watch the touching moment below:

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