Rasan Portlock brought his 10-year-old Ryheim to tears during an emotional interview about how proud he is of his son’s academic success.
The father and son talked to NBC’s chief education correspondent Rehema Ellis about the progress they have seen in the educational system at Devonshire Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C.
Rasan said he sees an improvement in the material Ryheim is taught and explains that the school’s expectations from its students have drastically changed over the years.
“I didn’t know if they really cared about what they were teaching him or not,” he said. “Now you can tell that there’s more concern about the children’s growth. It’s more about learning, it’s an experience, it’s better. It’s about success.”
When talking about his son’s qualities, Rasan said his son has always accepted a challenge and does not give up.
The duo also talked about how the family’s involvement in teaching Ryheim important lessons at home has encouraged him to dream big.
“He’s always had big dreams, from a child he always wanted to be something,” Rasan said.
When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Ryheim said: “I want to be a genetic engineer when I grow up and before that I wanted to be a doctor.”
He later adds, “I get these big dreams from like when I read books, when I read books from the library, I go like ‘Wow! I want to be this when I grow up.”
Rasan went on to explain how he is more than pleased of his son’s academic achievements and that he plans to continue to provide encouragement, without pressuring him to focus on a profession.
“I’m proud of him. I got his back as far as it goes and whatever he needs, I’m going to give it to him but I’m not going to force him. I’m not going to force him or tell him what to be,” Rasan said.
Moments later, Ryheim was brought to tears. He struggled to complete his sentence when asked what it was his father said that made him cry.
He soon managed to explain that it was when his father said “that he really looks forward to me growing up and becoming… “
Rasan jumped in and finished the sentence for him. “Whatever you want to be,” he said.
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