Recent Montclair State University graduate Desmond Durham and his 9-year-old son, Desmond Jr., have seen their heartwarming story go viral since Montclair’s Commencement in May.
On Tuesday, June 12, the father-son duo appeared on comedian Sherri Shepherd’s daytime talk show Sherri (at 34:30) to talk about their journey. As part of the special segment, the Durhams were given an extra-special gift in front of a live studio audience: a three-night vacation to LEGOLAND in Florida.
The Durhams’ story has received national attention in recent weeks after first being covered by feature stories on NJ.com and ABC7 New York, with the pair appearing in a feature story on Good Morning America’s digital platform in addition to nationally syndicated television spots.
Graduating with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Durham Sr. is a single father who worked three jobs – as a high school teacher, a youth basketball coordinator and as a GED instructor – while pursuing his degree and raising Desmond Jr. In honor of his incredible story, he was named the College of Education and Human Services Commencement Speaker during the University’s event at Prudential Center on May 23.
He is also a member of the Newark Montclair Leadership Pipeline Program, an initiative to develop aspiring leaders of color in partnership with the Newark Board of Education.