A week ago we received this inspiring email from Ben Jeanty and happily shared the image and story on our platforms. Since then, the story has gone viral and we wanted to share a few more details and images of this Haitian father and son duo.
Bonjou L’union Suite! My name is Benjamin Jeanty and I just wanted to share my story with you. After a long journey, yesterday my father and I graduated college together! ??????? Whatever your age, continue to pursue greatness!
- Ben and Duvinson Jeanty graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey becoming the first members of their family to earn college degrees. “Never in a million years did I ever dream of going to school with my father,” Jeanty
- Ben Jeanty, 27 was a senior in high school when his father, a Haitian immigrant, decided to go to college. Duvinson was 53 years old at the time.
- Duvinson, who is now 63, came to the United States in the mid-1980s and worked as a bus driver for the N.J. Transit for 27 years. He retired in 2015.
- Ben began classes at Rutgers University in 2008, but left a year later to work full-time at Smashburger. Three years later, he was itching to do something new, taking a cue from his father’s advice.
- Ben went back to college and enrolled part-time while working at a special needs school. Meanwhile, his father continued to take classes at William Paterson University while working as a N.J. Transit bus driver. Ben transferred to the university last year.
- Ben degree is in psychology and Duvinson is in finance.
- Ben will be working full-time at the special needs school after graduation. His father Duvinson, who is also looking to get his masters in finance, will be running his real estate company he started.
- Ben says he couldn’t ask for a better role model: “His drive inspired me to keep going despite what challenges I encountered.”
- Following graduation, 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.
- Partly inspired by his father’s selflessness, Ben also plans to travel to Haiti next month with the Vital Foundation to deliver the $2,700 he raised for an orphanage there in honor of his recent 27th birthday.