Students earn Wallace degrees

Published 10:41 pm Monday, May 9, 2016

Seniors of Dallas County High School, Southside High School and Keith High School will receive associate’s degrees upon graduation this month through dual enrollment in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program.

Seniors of Dallas County High School, Southside High School and Keith High School will receive associate’s degrees upon graduation this month through dual enrollment in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program.

Seniors in the Dallas County School System will be graduating in a few weeks, but many of them will leave high school with more than just a high school diploma.

Through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program at Wallace Community College Selma, many students will also be earning associate’s degrees.

Students who are interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics related fields join the program during their freshman year in high school to take college courses and get real college experiences.

The program is offered through a partnership with Tuskegee University and awardees of the MICRO Project, a grant aimed to get students more interested in research.

Tammie Briggs is the associate dean of learning at Wallace and said she has witnessed the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program prepare many students for college.

“It prepares students with the academic foundation they need in order to be successful in STEM programs,” Briggs said.

The program gives hands-on experience through residential programs that offer access to high quality scientific equipment.

Students are mentored by researchers and other professionals in STEM fields and partnered to complete projects and present them to classmates.

Southside High School senior Kiara Horton plans to study pharmaceuticals at Auburn University this fall.

“It’s been amazing. We have a lot of support. Whenever we need help or have any questions, our instructors are here for us. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that the program has provided me,” Horton said.

Her classmates Will Kendrick and Brian Crum both said they appreciate the program for how much it has helped them grow over the years.

Kendrick will graduate from Dallas County High School later this month. He is a scholarship recipient of Auburn University and plans on attending this fall where he will major in pre-pharmacy.

“I feel the stress this program has put me under while taking both college and high school classes strengthened me to be able to handle what college may present,” Kendrick said.

Crum is a senior of Keith High School who has received a full scholarship to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. He will major in mechanical engineering.

“I’ve learned some things that I am sure I will be able to take with me when I get to college,” Crum said. “The program has been tough at times but me and my friends help each other.”