A 15-year-old girl named Zaalyiah Gidden has achieved the exceptional feat of graduating from Stocken High School with good grades.
Zaalyiah Gidden, A Stocken resident graduated with a high school diploma within just two years instead of the usual four-year span. She said she was able to achieve it through her dedication, persistence, and her family’s support.
Gidden said she was able through graduate high school early through an accelerated program her parents registered for. She said her parents noticed she has always been intelligent from playing with puzzles rather than toys and moving ahead of her peers by first grade.
“I was told I couldn’t, that I can only graduate in 11th grade or a semester early in 12th grade. So I had the idea to graduate two years early, and I did just that,”she said.
“On the hard days where I didn’t want to get up to do the work, maybe a motivational conversation or just a check-in or something small like a hug, I think, was the biggest motivation,” she added.
Gidden’s mother, Victoria Webb-Giddens said that she had to find virtual courses partnered with a college to accelerate Giddens’ learning when she realized that the traditional school system was moving too slowly for her.
”She was finishing the classes in one to two days. A whole semester’s worth of courses in one to two days,” she said.Gidden said her parents registered her at California Virtual Academy as they did not have the funds to support her education at a private school.
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“She put in so much effort, late nights, early mornings. Some days, she was up before me. She was committed, and when she went to graduation, everybody was shocked because she was the only 15-year-old while everyone else was 18 and 19 years old,” she said.
She said she just did not want to spend the full four years in high school. However, she believes her primary motivation was to establish a high standard for accomplishments. Her exceptional academic performance made her to graduate from both the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society.
Gidden is is currently attending Western Governors University, United States, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business and IT Management, with a future goal of starting her own cybersecurity business.