Girl to graduate college before high school

Created: 04/29/2014 10:30 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

If you need a little inspiration to get ahead in life, meet the high school senior who just finished college.

“I don’t sleep,” Kelly Watson said with a laugh.

The northwest Albuquerque girl will graduate from Central New Mexico Community College, or CNM, on Saturday with two degrees – one in liberal arts, the other in fine arts.

Watson is a dual enrollment student.  In addition to taking classes at CNM, she’s a student at the Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics, and Science, or SAMS, Academy – an Albuquerque charter school.  The school offers flexible class schedules, which allows Watson to prioritize her college-level course work.

“There were times I was taking like nine classes, five college and four high school,” she said.  “I like challenging myself and keeping myself busy.  I don't like not being busy.”

Watson said she’s maintained high grades in each of her classes.

Although it might seem tough to keep up with the demands, Watson has her family’s support in the classroom.

“A lot of people are always like, 'oh, this is your sister, right?'  I'm like, 'no, that's my mom,’” Watson said.

Indeed, Watson’s mother, Emily, is taking classes with her with the help of scholarships and grants.

“Pretty much I'd say 90 percent of the classes we've taken together,” Emily Watson said.

Watson’s father is also taking drafting classes to pursue a drafting degree.

All three Watsons will graduate CNM together on the same day.

The family admitted that it was tough to coordinate their classes in ways that worked.  They only have one car, but they’ve used color-coded spreadsheets and schedules to block out their days.

Collectively, the family had a vision to be more educated so they could do something different with their lives.

“That's what we're hoping, yeah. We can start a new path,” Emily Watson said.

Kelly Watson said she’ll pursue a Master’s degree at the University of New Mexico.  She wants to teach art to students – specifically students with disabilities.

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