Flying High: Head Custodian’s Professional Journey Continues to Soar

Elmo DeSilva

Elmo DeSilva

The inspiring story of Mr. Elmo DeSilva, now the head custodian at Indian Creek Elementary School, is a shining example of hope and determination. Earning his GED last year qualified him for his desired promotion, and the subsequent media stories about his accomplishments spotlighted his uplifting journey and garnered national attention.

More recently, Mr. DeSilva was awarded the Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Award by the Technical College System of Georgia in recognition of his journey. The unassuming and soft-spoken Mr. DeSilva said it was quite an honor, so much so that he feels a responsibility to be a role model for others.

“To me, the EAGLE Award means I was noticed to be exceptional out of a large group of deserving individuals,” he said. “That makes me very proud and reminds me always to carry myself in a professional manner.”

The EAGLE Award honors adult learners who demonstrate exceptional commitment and success in their educational pursuits. Reflecting on the accolade, Mr. DeSilva said, “The EAGLE award means I was noticed to be exceptional out of a large group, which makes me very proud.”

His road to success was paved with challenges. Originally from New York City, Mr. DeSilva was forced to drop out of high school due to family obligations and financial hardships, leaving his educational aspirations on hold. Years later, as a custodian at Indian Creek, he took advantage of the support from the DeKalb County School District’s Adult Education Program and his school administrators and staff to earn his GED.

Reflecting on his new role, Mr. DeSilva said, “If I’m being honest, my first year as a head custodian has been both challenging and rewarding. They tell me I am exceeding expectations, but I am simply trying to be a great leader for my team.”

DCSD was chosen by the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Adult Education in 2021 as an education provider for 500 adult learners. This initiative aims to provide opportunities for adult learners to earn their GED attainment, English language acquisition services, family literacy, and support for post-secondary pathways.

Mr. DeSilva believes in the transformative power of education and encourages other adults contemplating their GED to take the leap.
“Regardless of age, whenever anyone achieves their educational goals, there’s a wonderful sense of joy and confidence that’s very satisfying,” he said.
“I’ve never met anyone who regrets earning their GED.”

Learn more about Mr. DeSilva’s story.
More information about DCSD’s Adult Education Programs...