In Washington State, they offer a program called Running Start to students that needed more of a challenge than they were getting. This program allowed me to basically be co-enrolled at Anacortes High School and at Skagit Valley College during my junior and senior years of high school.
June of 2015, I was able to graduate in purple and red, a week apart.
Anacortes High School graduation- picture with cousin Mitchell
Skagit Valley College Graduation- picture with parents and sister
Attending SVC offered me experiences that I would not have found elsewhere. The school is very diverse and focused on culture. I had people from all demographics in my classes and part of my groups. SVC is focused on offering learning communities to their students, and I took a class that was a mix between Intro to Film and Ethnicity. Having two separate teachers for two classes that had been combined together created a different atmosphere than a regular classroom.
The campus was about 45 minutes away from where I was living at the time, so the experience taught me about time management, responsibility, and perseverance. Some days it would have been much easier to stay home, but I have the type of personality that when I make a commitment I keep it no matter what.
The people that I met were more mature than those that I had attended high school with. It allowed me to be more focused on my school work. A negative that I see about high school, is that most of the assignments the teachers give students are “busy work” assignments to kill time. Most of the information is not useful in the real world.
At SVC I took a creative writing class and a small group communications class that really helped me open up to other people. Growing up I was very shy, and now I do not mind talking to other people. I actually enjoy public speaking.
There were many things that SVC offered to me that helped me grow as a person. Grades are important in the short run, but it is the information learned and retained that will be important for the rest of my life.