COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A high school senior in Colorado Springs is accomplishing much more than the average traditional student.
He’s completed his first two years of college for free before graduating high school. He owes his academic success to his charter school that’s paid for his college tuition.
He hopes his achievement encourages other students to get involved.
Nathan Hook attends Pikes Peak Prep and when he was a sophomore he was given the opportunity to attend college for free.
Now, a week before the big day, “I'll earn my associates degree a week before my high school diploma and finishing with 62 credits before I transfer to a four year university."
His first two years of college were paid for by his school.
"We offer the free college program with our partnership with PPCC and we are able to pay their tuition, their books, and transportation. And as soon as they're college ready we're Accuplacer testing them."
Nathan says it was worth the long nights and that it wasn't that easy. "I'm not the smartest guy in the world but the time, the effort, and planning, dedication to the process that’s what has gotten me to where I am today. Anyone can do it; they just have put everything they have into it."
And by that he means — willing to work on the weekends and during summer vacation.
"They prep me every step of the way and the last time I had to do was go get it."
Nathan isn't the only student achieving great success — Re'Nesia Mills is a junior at the same school.
"It feels really good to know that I am young but I'm still accomplishing things that most students don't have the opportunity."
She started off with one college course and continues to enroll in certificates programs in which she hopes to discover her field of study.
"It's defiantly been a great experience for me especially because I want to go to a historically black college after high school. I've definitely opened up a lot more to my professors and been able to grow up a lot more."
"My students who have started college while in high school have been able to kind of ease their way into it so it’s not so much of a shock to have that freedom."
Pikes Peak Prep says their small classroom sizes allow teachers to help students balance both workloads.
Nathan Hook is also his class valedictorian. He wants a masters in history. 12 out of 13 graduating seniors at this school earned college credit.