Top ranked dual enrollment student eyes medical school, chooses STC to launch career
One of Sharyland’s top dual credit students says South Texas College has made a world of difference in preparing her for a future medical career.
Last summer, Destiny Closner was named valedictorian at Sharyland Advanced Academic Academy and graduated from STC with an associate degree in Biology in May.
Destiny said she was 16 years old when she began taking college courses as a sophomore through STC’s Dual Credit Program.
“I got into this early college because my mom really wanted me to get that associate degree and my high school degree at the same time,” Destiny said. “My mom is a pharmacist, so that's why I always knew I wanted to be in the science field.”
Dual Credit Programs at STC provide the opportunity for eligible high school students, in a participating school district, to enroll in college courses while still attending high school. STC boasts one of the largest Dual Credit Programs in the state, serving high school students, tuition-free, since 2000.
In partnership with STC, Sharyland Advanced Academic Academy is one of 29 ISD Early College High Schools (ECHS) designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to earn up to 60 credit hours and/or an Associate degree while in high school. Each ISD ECHS is designed to create a seamless transition between high school and college.
“I got into this early college because my mom really wanted me to get that associate degree and my high school degree at the same time. My mom is a pharmacist, so that's why I always knew I wanted to be in the science field.”
Hoping to enter a career in pediatrics, Destiny said she was inspired to succeed by her mother Melissa, a pharmacist, as well as her two younger siblings whose support she says was crucial to her success in school.
“My siblings have been a big motivation for me, especially because they look up to me, and I want them to see it's possible to be valedictorian, to take all these college classes, and to still have friends on the side and stuff like that,” Destiny said. “All of my STC professors have been really helpful transitioning high school kids into college kids, and I think with their help, it was pretty fun to be in a college class surrounded by people like twice your age, and then still being able to keep up with them.”
Opting to study microbiology at STC, Destiny said her plan is to now begin the journey into medical school by completing her bachelor degree at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV).
STC she said gave her the crucial experience she needed before she transitioned to the university.
“I took most of my classes here at STC, so I was only at high school really for two to three hours, and then I would come straight over to the college. I even took summer classes, so it has been a real college experience,” she said. “After I finish UTRGV, I'm hoping to get into either UTRGV medical school or UTSA medical school, or any medical school I can really get into, and then take it from there with the debt and the financing and all that.”
Now finally graduated, Destiny says her career track is set, and with the help of her family and STC will one day reach her goals.