MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee sophomore is on track to graduate high school early and is already taking college courses.
Meet Akiria Woods. She is 15 years old and goes to Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy.
“I’m a sophomore and college student at the same time,” Woods said.
It’s a bit of an awkward identity to straddle, but she takes it in stride. She is the youngest to ever enroll in college classes at her school. It’s not AP or IB classes. She is taking college classes with college students taught by college professors. The classes are offered by Gateway College.
“I'm taking an intro to business class, because I want to start a business.”
She said she hopes to start her own business and help kids like her achieve their dreams.
Despite the higher-level classes, her grades haven’t dipped. She still has a 4.0 GPA.
“She has completely risen to the occasion,” her advisor and dual enrollment coordinator, Courtney Steggall, said.
Students at the school can take these college classes for free at UW-Milwaukee, Gateway College, or Milwaukee Area Technical College. Given the coronavirus pandemic, Akiria is taking her classes online.
However, sometimes she feels that her success is weighing on her given the increased attention she has been given.
"Like a lot of eyes on me. Like everybody keeps saying like 'oh I’m proud of you' and they expect me to - the expectations are high, so I feel like I got to do my best.”
While it does add a little bit of pressure, she isn't phased by it.
“I know like I really want to be successful, and I want to do better, and help others, and for me to do that, I need to put the work in.”
She hopes to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) when she graduates.