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Sunday, May 26, 2024

17-year-old boy graduates from US university before finishing high school, set to become a Teacher

A 17-year-old boy named Nathan Nieves has graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Doral College, United States despite still being an high school student.

Nathan, a Cuban-American and a senior at SLAM! Boca Raton, Florida bagged his bachelors degree in Elementary education at Doral College, United States. He made history as the first student in his high school to receive a Bachelor’s degree while simultaneously getting his high school education.

“Initially it wasn’t something that I was interested in, I just saw it as a free Bachelor’s, but as I took courses I actually fell in love with education and teaching,” he said. He earned over 130 college credits and passed three state certification exams within four years. 

Nathan was able to achieve the historic feat by taking dual credit and Advanced Placement courses every spring, summer, and fall semester during high school while having just one winter break off.

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“My two hardest semesters were when I had to take four AP courses, four bachelor-level courses, and an Honor’s Spanish course all at the same time,” he said. Nathan stated that though he was described as an overachiever, achieving the feat was challenging.

“I failed my first classes and most of my AP tests, so I had to do extra dual enrollment courses to be able to fulfill the Bachelor’s on time,” he said.

Nathan mentioned that he would not have been able to accomplish the success without the support of his mom, vice-principal, and principal. “They re-enforced that potential that they saw in me ever since freshman year,” he said.

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He said though the academic feat was challenging, he was able to overcome it by putting in a lot of hard work, and determination and also making good use of the opportunity he had. 

“It was a lot of hard work, but it’s an achievable goal if you are really committed. Coming from an immigrant family with three other siblings and a single mother, you just need opportunity and determination,” he said.

Nathan said for his plans, he hopes to take the summer off and get right back into the classroom immediately as a teacher. “I have fulfilled most of my goals up to this point, but the next one is just getting my Master’s and becoming an effective educator,” he said.

He said it was when he was taking his upper-division courses that he fell in love with education. Nathan added that his field experience hours and internship showed him how much of an effect he could have on his students.

“Initially, my motivation was honestly more economical – I wanted to earn a free bachelor’s degree and save myself time. It wasn’t until I began my upper division courses that I really fell in love with education,” Nathan said.

”My field experience hours and internship showed me how much of an effect I could really have on my students. Now that love for education is motivating me to continue to explore the field,” he added.

Advising students, Nathan stated that they should be organized in whatever steps they are taking adding that if they find it difficult to be organized, they should ask for help and rely on their mentors or those around them for guidance.

”Ask for help, seek guidance from your mentors, and research strategies you can implement. I think surrounding yourself with the right people is also very important. If you look to those around you and don’t see people that you can rely on, then you need to change your circle,” he said.

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