South Carolina Man Receives Master’s Degree At 71

by Duke Magazine

On Saturday, a man who is 71 years old got his master’s degree in teaching from the University of South Carolina. 11Alive says that Leroy Harley, who lives in Bowman, changed careers at the age of 69 and went into education. And he didn’t turn around.

In an interview with the news outlet, the 71-year-old said he was proud of himself and had finally found a job he was passionate about. That was after they looked into other job options.

“I was interested in anything new and interesting,” said Harley.

After his mother suggested that he look into working at a school, the man in his 70s decided to go into teaching. So, he sent an application to the Bethune-Bowman Elementary School, where he was first hired as a teacher’s aide.

“I became interested in teaching right away. “Like I always say, if it’s something new, I’ll try it and see what happens,” Harley said.

He then went to college to learn how to be a teacher. “I asked myself, ‘Why am I going to school at this age? “I should be kind of cruising into retirement,” he said. “But I kept doing it anyway.”

Harley said that getting his teaching degree wasn’t easy, but with the help of his family, he was able to do it in the end. “I’m so happy that Lee finally decided to follow his heart after all these years,” Harley’s sister told 11Alive. “It is. Education has been an important part of his life for a long time.”

Harley said, “I say go for it, I mean, because you bring a lot to the table, OK?” when asked if he had any advice for people who were thinking about changing careers.

“You have a lot to learn at the table, but you also bring a lot,” he said. Harley hasn’t decided when he’ll retire yet, but he sahe plans to teach for a few years.

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