Inaugural class at early college high school celebrates

May. 24, 2013 @ 08:45 PM

A group of pioneers would best describe the 2013 graduating class of Vance County Early College High School.

Forty-two of them graduated Friday night, with over half receiving associate degrees.

“It’s amazing how much we have grown, and what we have become,” said Tamara Daniela Chavarin Flores, class valedictorian. “I got really nervous that first day of school.

“It was also a really special day. We met all the teachers that would stress us out, work the mess out of us, encourages us, and love us.”

Flores said it was often difficult for her and other classmates to cope with the challenging courses at their school while friends attended traditional high schools. But she doesn't regret her decision of attending Vance County Early College High School.

“I would choose this path again,” Flores said. “We couldn't have done it without each other.

“Congrats to not only to the Class of 2013, but to the one and only first graduating class of the early college high school.”

Vance County Early College High School and Warren County Early College High School became VGCC’s first early college partnerships in 2008, followed by Granville County Early College in 2009 and Franklin County Early College High School in 2010.

“These students are among those pioneers who signed up in 2008, and started a new chapter in the history of this college,” said Stelfanie Williams, president at Vance-Granville Community College.

Students from all four high schools joined 2,000 plus North Carolina early college high school graduates reaching a new milestone this spring.

More than half the 2,000 plus graduates in the class of 2013 earned an associate degree or two years of college credit in addition to a high school diploma.

“Like many of the students here, I’m only 18 years old, yet over half of us are graduating with a high school diploma and an associate degree,” said Jennie Robinson, class salutatorian. “Our journey is far different than any other high school in Vance County.

“We represent a class that has blossomed from tentative children into courageous young adults.”

Robinson described a class of ambitious future leaders, who already had dreams of owning businesses and having successful careers.

“I know you all are going to be great leaders of the world and of this community,” Williams said. “Graduates, Vance-Granville Community College is certainly grateful for you, and we want you to know we will continue to be your college.”

 

Contact the writer at abentley@hendersondispatch.com.