Two seniors earn college degrees before high school diplomas


photo or infographic by Melody Medina

STEP ONE. Showing off her Lone Star degree, senior Melody Medina poses after commencement exercises on Thursday. Medina graduated with her associates degree before her high school graduation. .

During the week of senior finals and prom preparations, two seniors added another important milestone to their calendar. Before ending their high school careers, they picked up associate degrees from Lone Star College.

Seniors Melody Medina and Michael Smith graduated with their associates degree from Lone Star Thursday, May 12. They are looking forward to using their associates degree to further their success in the future. 

“Walking across the college stage before high school was really a unique experience,” senior Melody Medina said. “My family was so loud in the crowd and even some WHS alumni were graduating along with me and cheered me on, which brought a lot of emotions.” 

Trying to move up in a highly competitive field is difficult, but with an associate’s degree, Medina has the head start she needs to be successful. She is planning to receive her bachelor’s degree at only 20 years old. 

“This set me up for my entire career,” Medina said. “I definitely feel like moving up career wise will go by so much faster.” 

Medina took extra classes at Lone Star throughout the summer, spring and winter semesters. She is using the credits she has earned to further her career at Texas A&M to major in business. 

“I wasn’t planning on getting my associate’s degree, but with the dual credit program here, and taking extra classes I was able to qualify for one,” Medina said. “Now, all of these credits are transferring to A&M so it’s a big blessing.” 

Medina wasn’t the only senior walking across the stage as she was accompanied by senior Michael Smith. He received his associates degree and plans to continue his success in his roofing business. 

PROUD FAMILY. With his associates degree in hand, senior Michael Smith poses for a celebratory picture with his brother. Smith earned his degree from Lone Star before finishing his high school finals. (photo or infographic by Michael Smith)

“I will always remember walking across that stage,” senior Michael Smith said. “Everyone was so proud of me and the other graduates because of our huge accomplishments.”

In Montgomery County, the high school offers more dual credit opportunities than any other school with 31 dual credit classes. This allows for students to have the chance to qualify for their associates degree. 

“The dual credit program at the high-school made it much easier, but it still required a lot of work to get 60 credit hours,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the teachers and the motivation from my mom.”

Students not only learned more to further their education, but also about themselves as they work hard to achieve their goals. They are looking forward to making an impact in the future. 

 “This accomplishment shows me that I can do anything with hard work and dedication,” “I’m proud that I was able to make this possible, and I’m excited to see what will come from it.”