In a moment of reflection on the eve of graduating from Eastern Michigan University, student Daivon Reeder struck a chord on social media with a tweet that has since gone viral. Alongside a photo in his cap and gown, Reeder wrote Thursday: "My step dad told me it was pointless to go to orientation, I wasn't going to graduate.....4 years later he in jail & I'm well....," followed by a line of laughing emojis. Hours later, the tweet began trending in Detroit, catching the attention of Twitter as well as the media. Local Detroit station WDIV 4 featured a segment on Reeder, who graduated Saturday with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in military science. He told the station that after losing his academic scholarship, those words pushed him even harder to succeed.
"[I have] the average, typical, inner-city Detroit boy story," Reeder, 22, says. "I grew up constantly moving houses." The eldest of four, Reeder said his mother struggled to make ends meet for his family, and his stepfather was not always in the picture. After his stepdad made the comment about graduating, "I kind of heard that and I was like OK, I'll show you," Reeder tells Fox 8. "I'm just a first generation college kid from Detroit trying to beat the odds," he tells BuzzFeed News. "I guess people can relate to a humble beginning." The tweet had more than 600,000 likes and 148,000 retweets as of Monday afternoon. (This tweet made waves for a different reason.)