BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida teenager received his high school diploma on the same day he graduated from college.
Nathan Nieves’ mind-blowing accomplishment puts a twist on the typical commencement activities, which has taken him into the history books.
Although it might be tempting to call the Boca Raton teen an overachiever, he said nothing has come easily for him.
“It was actually the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I failed my first courses. I’ve only passed two of the nine [Advanced Placement] tests I’ve taken,” he said.
Despite the rough road, the Boca Raton teen graduated Doral College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He then walked across the stage for his high school diploma.
“It wasn’t something that I was interested in. I just saw it as a free bachelor’s,” he said, “but then, as I took courses, I actually fell in love with education and teaching.”
Since the beginning of his high school career, Nieves has taken courses every spring, summer and fall. He only took one winter break off.
“My two hardest semesters were when I had to take four AP courses, four bachelor-level courses and an Honors Spanish course all at the same time,” he said.
Nieves grew up with a single mother to five children. He credits her, his vice principal and principal for helping him reach the finish line.
“They re-enforced that potential that they saw in me ever since freshman year,” he said.
Nieves said his mother is proud and justifiably so, but it’s about more than his academic accomplishments. He thinks she’s proud of the person he is becoming.
“She would oftentimes have to balance anywhere from two to four jobs to support us all and through her, I really saw what it’s really like to struggle but still get what you need to do done,” he said. “Nothing in this world is given to you. You have to put in the work and earn it.”
As for what’s next, Nieves said, he hopes to take the summer off and get right back into the classroom in August, this time as a teacher.
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