To persevere is to continue in a given course in spite of discouragements, etc., from a desire to obtain our end.
To persist is to continue from a determination of will not to give up. Persist is frequently used in a bad sense, implying obstinacy in pursuing an unworthy aim.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
Student or Learner