A first-generation Haitian American got to share one of his most proud days with his 63-year-old father – they both graduated from college on the same day.
“I always had it in my mind to graduate college, but to graduate with my dad? It’s indescribable!” Ben Jeanty, 27, tells People magazine. Jeanty graduated with his father, Duvinson, a Haitian immigrant who drove an NJ Transit bus for more than 25 years.
The pair received their diplomas from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Ben received his degree in psychology and Duvinson in finance. Ben aims to earn a master’s in urban policy analysis while Duvinson formed Genevieve Investment Solutions, named in honor of his mother, to help families get their finances in order.
Duvinson initially enrolled in college part-time at age 53 when the father-of-four was still working as a bus driver for New Jersey Transit and caring for his ailing mother. He first earned an associate’s degree from a community college last year.
“Growing up and seeing the way he took care of my grandmother and all of us — it was a lot,” Ben says. “Sometimes he was stuck working in the city until two, three in the morning. He never took a day off and helped everyone he encountered.”
“What better way to show him I appreciate and love him and am in his corner than to graduate with him,” he says.
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