Southeast Polk Senior, Andrew Owens will be walking across the stage alongside his peers on May 28th receiving his high school diploma. Unlike any other student in Southeast Polk’s history, Andrew has already walked the graduation stage at DMACC in December, completing his Associates of Arts and Associates of Science Degrees prior to graduating from high school.
Andrew completed numerous AP (Advanced Placement) courses and exams offered at Southeast Polk throughout his high school career. Not only did he excel academically but he also participated in extracurricular activities including: Marching Band, Pep Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Cross Country, Soccer and works part-time at Fareway.
“My high school counselor, Mrs. Powell and my parents really guided and motivated me throughout this whole process. During my sophomore year, we mapped out a plan on how I could obtain the Associates Degrees from DMACC while continuing high school and participating in extracurricular activities.” Andrew shared.
Valerie Powell, Southeast Polk Counselor, shared, “Andrew has worked incredibly hard for this. It has taken a lot of planning to make sure he was taking courses here at Southeast Polk that would count toward the degrees at DMACC while also meeting Southeast Polk’s graduation requirements. He came into high school knowing he wanted to earn as many college credits as possible. While Southeast Polk offers many options, a student needs to be organized and thoughtful in the classes he is taking to make this happen.”
Andrew shared that he balances everything by just focusing on one task and day at a time. “I tried not to get overwhelmed by the big picture. I looked at each task as a little pebble and eventually, all of those little pebbles build into a big boulder that you knock over.”
This fall, Andrew will attend The University of Northern Iowa to pursue an Actuary Science Degree and is looking into double majoring in Finance. Andrew plans to be able to complete his degree from UNI within 1.5 to 2 years. After college, Andrew has hopes to be an Actuary for an insurance company in the Des Moines area.
Andrew is looking forward to beginning UNI this fall. “I am excited to meet new people and gain some independence. I am strongly considering participating in the marching band and getting involved in intramurals as well.”
Powell added, “We don’t recall any SEP student graduating with an AA or AS degree prior to high school graduation in the past. I’m so proud of Andrew for achieving his goal. I am excited for him to continue his education next year at the University of Northern Iowa.”