Lorain County Early College High School Graduate: Anthony Morales

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Topics: Early College High School

Anthony Morales is a graduate of Lorain County Early College High School, a KnowledgeWorks early college high school. When Anthony Morales graduated from Lorain County Early College High School, with both his diploma and associate degree, he was the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He’s currently a student at The Ohio State University (OSU), majoring in Business Administration with specializations in marketing and Japanese.

“I went to OSU directly after graduating from Lorain County Early College High School because I had a full ride scholarship from the Young Scholars Program,” said Anthony. He will be graduating from OSU in May 2014.

While in school, Anthony is working as an administrative assistant at the Institute for Japanese Studies at OSU and at a retail store. After school he is planning to apply for an internship in Japan. “That will allow me to work on my Japanese – both the language and cultural understanding,” he said. “I plan on pursing graduate school at some time, too.”

Anthony is hoping to apply his degrees and language skills in a position at a company that works with Japan and/or Japanese companies, such as Honda and its suppliers or with different areas of the government.

Anthony is a driven individual who is working hard to achieve his goals. Early college high school provided him with some of the tools to get there.

“Early college high school allowed me to get an understanding of what University life would be, in terms of classes, interacting with teachers, assignments, etc., and how to handle the pressure that comes with it,” Anthony said. “The most rewarding times in high school were when I was able to take classes with other college students versus my early college high school classmates because it allowed me to experience how a real college course was taught and how to interact interpersonally with peers older than I.”

Taking college level courses with college students also helped with Anthony’s transition from his high school to a traditional four-year college. It helped him learn how to navigate the social aspects of college, as well as the workload, while he still had the support of his high school staff.

Two of the Lorain County Early College High School staff members who had a particular effect on Anthony were Roslyn Valentine, the then principal, and Jenifer Johnson, the then College Transition Adviser.

Roslyn was a big influencer in recruiting prospective students and inspiring current ones. “There was something about Ms. Valentine that brought out the best of each student,” Anthony said.  “She was the one that pushed me and encouraged me to do the best that I could. She helped me form into a more outgoing individual that didn’t mind giving speeches, volunteering for activities or pursuing academic programs that I would not have otherwise considered.”

Jenifer provided student support in another way – gently guiding students through their studies and preparing them for college. “Jen was like the older sister who made it through college and was able to provide information about her experiences in a way that allowed me to relate to it,” said Anthony.

The lessons and support of early college high school last much long than the four years of high school. Anthony sees that in how he manages his time, approaches writing and public speaking, works on teams and manages stress.

“Time management was a big issue for me as I progressed through early college high school, so being able to work on it on a college level prior to my attendance at OSU really helped me along the way,” he said. “I also learned a lot about myself through the years at Lorain County Early College High School. I sometimes take on more work than I can handle, especially when it comes to group work. In stressful situations, I sometimes get anxious and lose concentration. Early college high school helped me recognize these flaws and work through them. Learning those skills before attending OSU really helped me on my ability to work effectively in a group.”

As Anthony looks back on his own early college high school experience and thinks about how it applies to future, prospective early college students, he goes back to the support that students receive.

“Lorain County Early College High School is filled with great teachers that are willing to help the students through any situation and connect with the students on a more personal level,” he said. “The good thing about the program is that the classroom sizes are quite small so being able to communicate with the teacher and create a friendship is not difficult. Most of the teachers will be there to help you as you progress through the program and become like a mentor to you. That is what makes this program so special.”