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Mark Wahlberg Earns High School Diploma

Monica Schipper/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Mark Wahlberg dropped out of school after the ninth grade some 25 years ago, but he's proud to announce that he recently received his high school diploma.

In Monday’s edition of The Huffington Post, Wahlberg revealed that he took online high school courses for almost a year and studied every chance he got while on movie sets and at home. 

Wahlberg writes, "It has been both humbling and challenging, but I'm happy to report that I am officially a high school graduate, having received my diploma this summer."

Recalling his early teen years, the actor says, “I never made it past the ninth grade. My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working class neighborhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences.”

“Most high school dropouts don't end up with successful careers in Hollywood,” Wahlberg writes. "I was lucky. Compared with high school graduates, dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, in poor health, living in poverty or on public assistance.” 

He adds, “For me, this crisis isn't just a national problem.  It's entirely personal.”

Through his Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, which has partnered with organizations like the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, the 42-year-old actor is hoping to provide the support, tools and community students need to stay on track.

In his post, Wahlberg offers encouragement to other high school dropouts.

"You are not alone. I can now look at my kids every day knowing that I didn't just do this for me -- I did it for them, and I did it for all the other teens and adults who have inspired me by their commitment to graduate," he writes.

“If we don't live by example," he adds, "then what do we live by?  I am proud to re-introduce myself to you today as: Mark Wahlberg -- High School Graduating Class of 2013."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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