Best of both worlds
Student of the Week: Leah Adame
I think a highlight of dual credit is the people you meet and all the different subjects you’re exposed to. There are older people in the classes, younger people and everyone is from different backgrounds. You get to make more friends that really bring a new insight to your life.
South Texas College Dual Credit student Leah Adame feels grateful to have found a way to balance a thriving high school life with her full course load at STC.
Adame, a junior at Mercedes High School, is on track to earn an associate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from STC by the time she graduates in May 2024. She enrolled in her first dual credit class during the spring semester of her freshman year of high school.
“My counselor reached out to us about taking college classes and at first I wasn’t too sure about it,” Adame said. “It was intimidating to be a freshman taking college classes, plus I was involved with sports. I didn’t know if I could handle everything, but she reassured me she would guide me, and that people would be there to help with whatever I needed. So, I decided to try it.”
Adame said she knew she would benefit from being part of the STC dual credit program after completing that first class. She now takes four classes at the college each semester.
“I just started taking as many classes as I could,” she said. “My counselors really helped me schedule my classes and kept me informed about what I needed to take. I must balance everything, but I enjoy dual education and know in the end it’s all going to be worth it.”
The Dual Credit Program at STC provides the opportunity for eligible high school students, from its 21 partnering school districts, to enroll in college courses while still attending high school. The students must meet the same requirements as all other college students.
Adame has taken both online and in-person dual courses. She particularly appreciates it when her college professors teach classes at her high school campus.
“My history professor is from STC and comes all the way over here to our high school,” Adame said. “Our professors work with us, understand our circumstances and are open to help all students as long as you communicate with them. They’re helpful, knowledgeable and that’s what has kept me on this path.”
Adame said she also appreciates the new perspective she has gained by taking college courses as a teenager.
“I think another highlight of dual credit is the people you meet and all the different subjects you’re exposed to,” Adame said. “There are older people in the classes, younger people and everyone is from different backgrounds. You get to make more friends that really bring a new insight to your life.”
Along with attending dual credit classes, Adame spends her days enjoying activities that challenge her academically and physically. She is an ambassador for GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), serves as the vice president of her high school’s National Honor Society chapter and was a class officer and cheerleader for two years. She is also involved in volleyball, basketball and track and has dreams of someday becoming a pediatrician.
Adame said she knows her schedule is quite a handful, but she’s able to accomplish it all through strong time management - a skill she hopes to carry through her college career.
“I’m able to live my high school life and a college life at the same time,” Adame said. “As long as I have time management and a good planner to help me remember what I need to get done and by when. But, it’s been a gift to see what it’ll be like to be out there in the world by myself.”
Adame said she would encourage students interested in the dual credit program to remain determined and disciplined through the challenges and know they won’t have to sacrifice a fulfilling high school experience.
Her advice, “Most importantly, work on having good time management skills because it will be a lot to handle. There will be times you might feel like you want to quit, but you have to keep pushing,” she said. “I believe that in the end it'll be worth it, and maybe having that kind of positive attitude and mindset will help others reach the goals they want to do in this life.”