Detroit man's EMU college graduation inspiring tweet goes viral

- A local college graduate is gaining popularity all over social media.

Daivon Reeder's photo has gone viral, but, it's his caption - that's catching everyone's attention.

"I was just sitting around and thinking about the things I went through to get here and to graduate," said Reeder. "That one thing stood out to me."

Daivon Reeder is getting ready to graduate from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Military Science, but if he listened to his stepfather he may not be here today.

"I kind of heard that and I was like ok, I'll show you," Reeder said.

As graduation day neared,  Reeder tweeted - "My stepdad told me it was pointless to go to orientation I wasn't going to graduate anyway. 4 years later he is in jail and I am well..."

"I looked at the picture and the emoji of me laughing I thought that was an ironic situation - we are in two different situations in our lives," Reeder said. "Look what you said and look where you are at."

IN PHOTOS: Click here for a photo gallery. of Daivon Reeder.

His tweet has now gone viral - retweeted and shared thousands of times - with people congratulating Reeder for proving his stepdad wrong.

"I literally tweeted, I went to sleep, my phone was dead," he said. "I charged it and my phone went boom boom boom. I was like, Oh my gosh, what's going on. It's exciting, it really is."

But the 22-year-old from Detroit who is the first in his family to go to college, faced plenty of obstacles along the way.

"I came here on a scholarship," he said. "I ended up losing it, and then I had to go to basic training for the Army and I came back to work hard to get my scholarship back.

"I had family problems, I'm the oldest of all my brothers and sisters so I had to take care of my brothers and sisters back home. And I am a black male student in a predominately white university so that's a struggle in itself."

Reeder, who works two jobs to support his family, says he didn't have a father figure growing up. Instead of being angry, he and nine students formed an organization to mentor young boys, teach them what he had to learn the hard way.

"Living our values - live, learn, teach, knowing I was living life making mistakes," he said. "But I was learning from them able to teach someone else."

Reeder says he beat the statistics.

On Saturday, donning his cap and gown Reeder will walk with his entire EMU class and officially accept his diploma.

Reeder may be making headlines now - but it's clear his story is far from over.

"Just because somebody says you can't do something seems hard or it's not the norm, or it’s something your family is not used to doing, you can be the change," he said. "You can be the difference."

 

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