Of them Odessa Collegiate Academy students have achieved high school graduation and associate’s degree milestones.
Shaily Brant, 18, and Jason Lambert, 15, will take part in Odessa College Scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on December 10 and at 10 a.m. on December 11 in the main gymnasium of the OC Sports Center.
About 300 graduates will attend, media relations director Cheri Dalton said in a text message.
Brant plans to go to the University of North Texas and study at Honors College. Lambert walks towards the Permian Basin of the University of Texas. Both will begin in the spring semester.
Brant will take the stage on Friday and Lambert’s turn will be on Saturday.
Brant will study psychology and go for an advanced degree in psychiatry. Brant said she was only due to attend UNT for two years, thanks to earning an associate’s degree in general studies.
Odessa Collegiate Academy director James Ramage said that when students finish high school a semester earlier, they officially graduate on their transcript. But they will take the stage for the ceremony in May 2022.
Brant has been attending the OCA for four years.
“The main reason I came here was because it was a small school. …,” she said.
Lambert will earn an associate’s degree in STEM. At UTPB, he plans to study animation and game design. He also hopes to pursue higher education.
Brant said she chose a field of study that she found cool. She added that she would be the first in her family to go to college.
“… I always thought I needed a career and I don’t just want to get a job; like normal work. I want something that I guess only I could do, but education was necessary, ”Brant said.
She voluntarily chose a college that was not nearby.
“… I want to jump in with life,” Brant said.
She recently returned from a visit to UNT. Brant said it was big.
“It’s a big campus. It was like blocks. It was crazy. It was nothing like OC… ”said Brant.
She added that attending the OCA would help her adjust to the new setting “because it’s a real college.”
“But it was a little scary, like signing up for classes on my own. Fortunately, there were counselors to help me. But here all of that is sort of done for you. But it still helps, ”she said.
Lambert said he was quite familiar with the UTPB campus. He would be in first year when he got there.
“What they do… for all students, whether here or in OHS (or) Permian… when they transfer their associate’s, they are always classified as freshmen for one semester,” he said. Ramage declared. “And the reason is that they can attend orientation classes and are eligible for the first year scholarships. Then, in the second semester, they will add all their credits and they will propel them to junior status.
When asked how he graduated from school so quickly, Lambert said it took a lot of hard work and determination.
He graduated from fifth to eighth grade at Crane ISD. Then he was told about the OCTECHS, so he went to the OCTECHS and was transferred to the OCA.
“It was a tough process,” Lambert said of the jump.
But in the end, it worked out well.
His 10th to 11th grade wasn’t the best for him because of COVID. Ramage said Lambert went to school for practically a year.
“Some people agreed; some have struggled with that because… you just can’t replace face-to-face teaching, ”Ramage said.
Brant said she did her first C.
Lambert said he was born in Miami, Florida, moved to Crane, and then moved to OCA. He has lived here for almost nine years.
Lambert took the Texas Success Initiative and passed all sections except math.
“It still allowed me to be able to apply to OCTECHS and here. I entered OCA and OCTECHS, respectively. Then from there, I was able to pass my math exam the same year… ”he said.
Ramage said it doesn’t matter how old you are when you take the IST.
“Most kids usually take it between their junior senior year,” Ramage said. “Our kids usually take it between the eighth and ninth grade. So our kids take it early. Math, sometimes we just wait a bit because there is Algebra II on it. And so kids sometimes take it early just to see what’s on it… ”
But then they pass it on the second try, he said.
“… For a lot of them who are in eighth grade, they just don’t have that level of math yet, so we usually wait a little bit to get math in high school,” Ramage added.
Lambert said other people told him he was miles ahead of his classmates, but he never really felt it.
He has a brother and a sister; Lambert is the youngest. His sister, the middle sister, graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor’s degree in business and economics.
He believes the OCA prepared him academically and emotionally for college.
Brant said she never thought about graduating from college until high school.
“… It’s cool that this happens,” Brant said.
“I want to get on with it as soon as possible, because I just want to… hurry up and get… to life.” … Being stuck at home as a kid is boring and I’m already ready to take responsibility, ”said Brant.
She has an older brother and will be the first in her family to go to college.
Lambert said he felt happy to have graduated, but with some insecurity at the same time.
He marvels at the fact that graduation is almost here.
“… It’s already there. It’s right there, just around the corner, ”Lambert said.
He added that he wanted to finish college quickly.
“… Throughout my childhood, I worked hard to always be on top of my class, to do this and that, even when I was struggling with depression in… grades 10 and 11. I still tried to push myself even though it was a bit difficult at times. But the question remains. It’s like you’ve worked with us your whole life, but it’s finally here and you don’t know how to feel… ”said Lambert.
“We are extremely proud of them,” said Ramage. “They worked really hard. So in addition to having their partner two years earlier. In addition, they are one semester ahead of all other students. And so they worked really, really hard; lots of lessons; a lot of work; lots of homework. But the end result is that they take the stage in December, so we’re very excited for them and we’ll definitely be following them as they move into the next part of their lives.