Mark Wahlberg Ready For Diploma After Revealing ‘Biggest Regret’

'Pain & Gain' actor ran into trouble after dropping out in ninth grade, but he's shooing students away from following his footsteps.

Mark Wahlberg has played a few slow-witted characters in his career, but in real life, he’s no dummy. The acclaimed actor will soon have more than a booming Hollywood career to prove it. Years after dropping out of school, Wahlberg is set to receive his diploma.

Wahlberg, who recently visited T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria Virginia, is working toward receiving his diploma, even as he tries to teach kids not to make the same mistakes he did as a teenager.

“One of the big regrets in my life is that I didn’t finish school,” he told MTV News. “I quit when I was in the ninth grade… I didn’t have too many people to look up to so the key for me to really make an impact was just to speak to them directly — tell them about my story.”

Read more about Mark Wahlberg as he prepares to graduate from High School.

Wahlberg visited T.C. Williams on April 24 to speak with students and remind them of the possibilities their life has to offer during their teenage years. Observing that many of his friends growing up ended up in jail or on drugs, he told attendees that it’s essential for them to apply themselves to their work rather than distractions like drinking and partying.

“I just want to encourage you guys,” Wahlberg insisted. “This is such a crucial time in your life. The decisions you make over the next few years are going to impact you forever.”

Get Schooled With Mark Wahlberg.

The former rapper and current movie star pulled from his life experiences to give hope to the students and inspire good decision-making.

“You know, if I can be successful overcoming the challenges I faced,” he said, “they certainly can.”