5 Celebrities Speak on Dropping Out of School

Never completing their education as teens, these 5 celebrities all dropped out of school at an early age. Some got wrapped up in gangs, drugs and other bad influences which took them down the wrong path at the time, while others just decided that they didn’t need school anymore or their career became more important to them at the time. Some have since gone back to school to earn their diploma, while others still believe they’ve missed out on completing their education and often feel that they’ve been left at a disadvantage because they left school so early. For whatever the reason, these 5 celebrities have spoken on their drop-out experience and how they felt about leaving their education behind them at a younger age.



Drake dropped out of high school but later decided to get his diploma on his own: ”It’s not necessarily about the books that you’ll read or the science or math equations that you’ll do, because you may end up taking a path in life where a lot of the things that you’ll learn you can’t necessarily fully apply. What this is about today, for all of you, is about the art of following through.’ I reached a point in my life where I saw that there aren’t material things that can give me the excitement that I’m looking for. There’s a void, a gap in my life that I needed to fill. It was the fact that I had left a gaping whole in my story following through.”

Mark Wahlberg

Mark didn’t make it past the 9th grade but recently got his diploma online: “[I] never made it past the ninth grade. My circumstances were not unlike millions of other teens today, who live in tough working class neighbourhoods surrounded by drugs, violence and crime, and who struggle to stay on the right path without positive influences. I was fortunate to find out I could attend high school online. For almost a year, I’ve been taking classes and studying any chance I could get – on the set, traveling for work and at home. 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”.

Mary J. Blige
mary j blige

Mary found that dropping out of school left her at a big disadvantage throughout her life: “It hurts a lot when you cannot really comprehend what a person is saying in a meeting or you don’t even understand what you’re reading in your contract. I find myself learning more.”

Sidney Poitier

Sidney was very young when he dropped out and he couldn’t even read properly: “I left school at 12-and-a-half. But I wanted to be knowledgeable, even though at the time I did not know that such a word existed. I was working in Queens as a dishwasher, and one evening I was sitting in the dining room trying to read the newspaper. This Jewish waiter walked over, stood looking down at me and then said, ‘What’s new in the paper?’ I said, after hesitating, ‘I can’t tell you because I can’t read very well.’ He said, ‘Oh, would you like me to read with you?’ That night and every night, that man, whoever he was, sat next to me and taught me to read – not just the pronunciation and meaning of the words, but what a comma was, what a period was. I eventually had to go to work elsewhere and I never got a chance to go back and tell him what a gift he gave me. I never ever got an opportunity to thank him.”

Lil Wayne

Rapper Lil Wayne was encouraged to drop out: “It was my mum’s idea (to drop out of school). I had an album out, I was platinum already, thank god, and I was still trying to go to regular public school. She saw me getting ready for school one day and she saw me putting my gun in my backpack and she said, ‘You gonna bring that to school with you?’ and I remember, I asked, ‘You don’t want me to bring it?’ and she thought about it and said, ‘I do.’ She said, ‘You’re right, bring it’, because she bought it for me! She was like, ‘You do need it.’ Two minutes later she walked back into my room and she said, ‘You don’t go to school no more (sic). You’re getting a Ged (high school diploma).’ I was like, ‘Oh, Ok’.”