Rasan Portlock and son Ryheim

Rasan Portlock, 29, and his 10 year old son, Ryheim had an emotional ‘Today’ interview with with NBC’s chief education correspondent Rehema Ellis. The father and son were discussing education and “big dreams”. Portlock discussed the huge changes he’s seen in his son and credits the quality of education his child receives at Devonshire Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C.

“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.”

You can view the full interview below.

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  • lauryn

    I really, really, really want this young man to hold onto this mantra as he pushes through life.

    • lauryn

      And also, I like that his father recognizes and acknowledges his role in his son’s development. While the teacher plays a crucial role, it really does begin in the home. The teacher is NOT the parent.

    • Agreed Lauryn on both of your comments!

  • Anthony

    I, for one, do praise this father for doing what he is supposed to do!

    For the life of me, I don’t see why one Chris Rock joke so utterly dominates discourse on black fathers?

    • P

      I acknowledge them, but “praises” go to the Fathers who will sell the shirts off their backs or sleep in a shelter to take care of their kids. Go through hell or high water. ..

      Those are the men I respect and admire. Not saying that fathers won’t (I have too many men in my family that will). I just see too many mothers in homeless shelters in comparison to fathers.

  • Roger

    Thank you @BeReal

    Homeless men are subhuman unfortunately

  • P

    I can see how you say that is a weird statement from that perspective. That is absolutely true.

    I was coming from the perspective of women will end up homeless quicker by trying to care for their kids and hold on to them in comparison to men.

    Men are quicker to say – “I just don’t have it”. They will look after themselves first and some will walk away. Only If the majority of fathers (nationally) had the same indomitable spirit to care for their kids. It would make all the difference in the world.