"I was actually 12 when I took my first class," said Abigail Brand of Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania. She was honored to be the commencement speaker for the ceremony at just 15 years old.
Brand says a college degree is not out of reach for others her age.
"I know a lot of people, a lot of my friends, who would be able to do this, definitely," she said. "And some people don't really realize that it's an option. There are resources to help you succeed and you can do that."
School President Vicki Bastecki-Perez says those resources are available for the entire community across all ages and life phases.
"We have an early admission program for students who made the qualifications for the courses and the program of study that they're pursuing," she said. "We have a few graduates actually in addition to Abigail that will be completing associate degrees and graduating today with us, and then will graduate from high school in June."
Bastecki-Perez says she is extremely proud of Abigail especially for her involvement with Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, the Pan African Festival, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
While Abigail was among the youngest graduates, Annamarie Parker was among the eldest. The 57-year-old decided to go back to school and overcame incredible obstacles to reach the finish line today.
"Because of my visual impairment, accommodations, especially when it came to math, was very challenging," said Parker, who is from Philadelphia.
Parker had almost given up on school after her mother's untimely passing just 18 days after enrolling in 2011. But she found the teachers and assistive technology at Montgomery County Community College to be the catalyst she needed to complete her decade-long journey towards a degree.
"If you apply yourself and do your part as long as they supply the tools for you, you're going to succeed too," she said. "Don't give up on yourself. Just don't."
To learn more about the programs offered by Montgomery County Community College, visit their website.
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