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Dual Degree Grad Receives Praise From President Obama

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore City student receives double diplomas. One day after her college graduation, she’ll attend her high school graduation.

Gigi Barnett has more on how she did it.

This is music all graduates want to hear: ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’ But one Baltimore City Community College student is graduating twice this weekend.

Taylor Williams receives her Associate Degree on Saturday, and the next day, gets her high school diploma from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

She did it all in four years, and Taylor is just 17.

“The world is so competitive and you have to do something to make yourself stand out,” Williams said.

Taylor is part of an early enrollment program at BCCC. At 14, she found it by a fluke.

“I didn’t have the correct biology requirement for Poly freshman year, so I started taking the biology class at BCCC. I guess I had the right people in my ear,” she said.

Her family was on board right away. Taylor’s dad even chaperoned her to some of the evening college courses.

“We supported her and dad sat outside of some of the classes because she was 14 and she just did her thing,” Taylor’s mother, Earlene Williams, said.

“Like I tell a lot of people, when she brings her report card home, it doesn’t just reflect her, it reflects on all of us. Because we all have to be involved in her education,” she continued.

That means a letter for Taylor from the White House is for the whole family. The president wrote the teen, commending her on the dual diplomas.

With two years of college successfully behind her, Taylor’s family agrees that there’s a cost savings to the dual degree. But the teen plans to spend the next four years in college.

“She has to do four years still. So I’m looking for her to come out with a Master’s at 19 or 21. So, she’s just ahead of the game,” said Taylor’s dad, Tommy Williams.

Taylor says the next step now is attending University of Maryland College Park in the fall. She plans to study engineering or medicine.

Taylor was one of 500 BCCC graduates.

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