By Mikayla Stephens

I am currently a senior at Midview High School and I have been enrolled in the College Credit Plus program since my sophomore year. Currently, I am attending classes at the Lorain County Community College main campus full time.

In May of 2018, approximately three weeks before I graduate from high school, I will be receiving my associate of science degree from Lorain County Community College that was completely paid for through the CCP program. It is not very common that high school students graduate with a diploma and a college degree at the same time, let alone not having to pay for the degree.

Having the opportunity to participate in such a program as CCP has provided me with a great advantage that will afford me a jump-start on my college career, with my ultimate goal of becoming a pharmacist.

Growing up, my family has always stressed the importance of education and hard work. Therefore, I have always been an “A” student and I am currently in the top 10 percent of my class. I could have taken the typical high school classes and been successful. However, I was looking for classes that would challenge me and prepare me for college and what better way to do that than to take college classes through the CCP program?

By aggressively pursuing college courses, working with the guidance counselors at Midview and the advisors at LCCC, I will have my first college degree by the age of 18. Honestly, I still can’t believe that this is actually happening. But, all of my hard work for the past three years is finally paying off, and I couldn’t be happier with the fact that I was able to have this experience.

I have nothing but positive things to say about the CCP program. A student can be successful in the high school and college classroom with CCP. I’m not going to say that it was easy; it has challenged me at times, which will prove beneficial when I move on to my four-year degree and possibly a doctorate. I have taken traditional classroom, online, eight-week condensed, and even a summer class during my junior year.

LCCC and the CCP program have encouraged my desire to learn and fed my aspiration to be more than the norm. I want to get the word out about the CCP program; I am a success story of what can be accomplished.

My personal story is not a blueprint; it is an example of what is possible. Students don’t have to pursue a degree in high school as I have, however, the opportunity to do so exists.