Trucker earns degree while driving across the nation

Trucker earns degree while driving across United States
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 11:05 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - After 14-hour shifts on cross-country drives in an 18-wheeler, Hattiesburg resident Cedric Parker would study.

“You know what?” Parker asked. “When they say you want to study abroad, it’s similar to that.”

Sunday, Parker graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in psychology.

The 50-year-old father of five and grandfather of four decided to get a degree online while working fulltime on the road.

“I always had a passion for the human mind, so, then I was suffering at one time with anxiety,” Parker said. “So, once I overcame that, I wanted to try to help other people in that field.”

Parker not only ran his own truck-driving business, but also worked at Clearview Recovery Center as a clinical assistant while earning his degree.

Biff Brooking, Parker’s supervisor at Clearview, said he wasn’t sure how his assistant managed everything, working long shifts and overnight.

“He really has a big heart, and it shows working up here and it goes a long way,” Brooking said.

Parker now will transition from clinical assistant to veteran resource specialist at Clearview.

He said he hopes is story might inspire others to set and reach goals.

“You’re never too old,” Parker said. “Life doesn’t stop. Continue to go. Continue to do.

“Even if you’re not looking to get another job in that field, you can always use that to inspire other people.”

Parker says his educational journey hasn’t ended just yet: He’s enrolled into the master’s program at his alma mater and hopes to continue his education all the way to a PhD degree.

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