When Melody Delatorre was a sophomore, she had a mission: to graduate with an associate degree while still in high school.
The Mansfield High School student visited her counselor to discuss her plans and became laser-focused to earn at least 60 college credits before graduation.
“She could take up to three dual credit courses per semester, so we just mapped out what three she was going to take in her junior year and what three she was going to take in her senior year, “ said Mansfield High School counselor Monica Dabney.
To put her education on a faster track, Delatorre also took courses at Tarrant County College (TCC) on her own after school. She took no breaks and continued taking courses in the summer and winter.
The senior graduated with her associate degree from TCC on May 12. She will walk across the stage to get her high school diploma on May 25.
“It was really cool knowing I was getting my associate degree before my high school diploma,” said Delatorre. “It took a lot of work and sacrifice. I didn’t always have time to be with my friends, but I’m glad I did it. I feel accomplished and proud.”
“I cannot even describe how proud I am of her,” Dabney added. “She is such a driven student and highly independent, so I was just elated to hear that she had competed her associate’s degree.”
The 17-year-old said she will take summer classes at the University of Texas at Arlington.
She said she won’t take any breaks and hopes to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biology in May 2019. Her goal is to become a doctor.
“I want to become a doctor because I like helping people, and I like being able to make a difference in people’s lives,” Delatorre explained.
For those wanting to follow in her educational path, the senior’s advice is simple. She said, “just go.”