Ambitious high school grads jump ahead of peers in college prep work | CraigDailyPress.com

Ambitious high school grads jump ahead of peers in college prep work

Noelle Leavitt Riley

Aubrey Campbell, left, and Abigail Gonzalez, both 18, graduated with their associate's degrees from Colorado Northwestern Community College earlier this month prior to graduating from high school.

Ambition is defined as a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

That definition perfectly sums up the actions of Abigail Gonzalez and Aubrey Cambell — both of whom completed an associate’s degree at Colorado Northwestern Community College alongside obtaining their high school degree from Moffat County High School.

The two young women will enter their first year at Colorado Mesa University as juniors rather than freshmen because of their ambitious goals to get their associate’s while still in high school.

"The main focus for me was it's a great way to save money, and it's a great way to enhance your high school career," Gonzalez said of her accomplishment. "But I'm also an overachiever of sorts, so going the extra mile was a way to do that."

MCHS offers college courses at the high school at no extra cost to students, so for Campbell and Gonzalez, it was a no-brainer.

"The opportunity was there, and if an opportunity is there, we're going to do it," Campbell said. "I think a lot of kids at the high school think it's out of their reach, but if it's something you really want to do, you just have to go towards it."

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And, it made sense for the pair to go after college classes, as they craved the challenge. Now, they'll be able to focus more on their college major during their first year at a university rather than taking beginner classes.

"The cool thing about us going to Mesa next year is that it exempts us from any other prerequisites," Campbell said.

That means the two students have an opportunity to graduate in two years, rather than four.

Most importantly, it puts the students ahead of others their age entering the higher education world.

"You learn a lot about responsibility and time management and other good life skills," Gonzalez said. "It's worth the money, it's worth the time and it's worth the sacrifice."

Gonzalez will study elementary education and hopes to teach grade school when she graduates from CMU.

Campbell will study graphic design at CMU, and she feels fully prepared for the next step in her college career because of what she learned while completing her associate's.

"I would recommend it because it teaches you a lot of college prep skills," Campbell said.

Gonzalez and Campbell have known each other all their lives, and they will actually be in the same dorm when they start at CMU in the fall.

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