How old were you when you graduated from college? Imagine doing it at 17-years-old. That’s my life; well, not yet, I’m only 16-years-old.
I am a 16-year-old soon-to-be graduate of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and Shaker Heights High School. My mother was really adamant about me not skipping any grades, so that I could stay with my age group, and College Credit Plus (CCP) gave me the opportunity to stay with my age group while being able to get a college education. My first year of high school was relatively normal; I took all my classes at the high school, but I took three classes at Tri-C the following summer. From then on out, I began to take more and more classes at Tri-C while maintaining my presence at the high school until this year — my senior year — where I am taking six classes at Tri-C as well as five at my high school while being the head of several clubs, helping run the theatre department and taking various music and dance lessons.
I got an incredible head start in life. I began going to a Montessori school when I was three-years-old before going to private pre-schooling and kindergarten. I also started working on my mother’s ice cream truck at a young age, which predisposed me to math.
My mother is the youngest of ten children — the difference between her and her eldest sister being an astounding nineteen years. This, in addition to the fact that my mom had me late in life — twelve years after my eldest sister — meant that I was constantly around older people of all different types of occupations who felt it was their responsibility to dump their knowledge and wisdom on me.
With this amazing background and access to what seems like an infinite amount of hands-on knowledge, school has never been an issue for me. I took Algebra I, Latin, high school English, and American History when I was in the fifth grade. My mom however did not want me to be that far removed from my age group, so she put me in a public school for middle school where I took on-level classes (or honors if available).
Because of dual enrollment through CCP, I will be graduating in June of 2020 with both my high school diploma and my associate’s degree. CCP begins as early as the seventh grade. If I had lived in an area where this was available, I would probably have two or three associates by now or at least spent a lot less money. If you know any local youth, make sure you let them know that this is possible and encourage them to take advantage.