BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida teenager received his high school diploma the same day he graduated from college.
Nathan Nieves’ stunning performance put a twist on the typical early days and put him in the history books.
While it might be tempting to call the Boca Raton teenager a high achiever, he said nothing has come easy to him.
“It was actually the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I failed my first courses. I only passed two of the nine [Advanced Placement] Tests I did,” he said.
Despite the bumpy road, the Boca Raton teenager graduated from Doral College with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Then he walked across the stage for his high school diploma.
“It wasn’t anything that interested me. I just saw it as a free undergraduate degree,” he said, “but as I took courses, I actually fell in love with education and teaching.”
Since the beginning of his high school career, Nieves has attended classes every spring, summer, and fall. He just took a winter break.
“My two toughest semesters were when I had to take four AP courses, four undergraduate courses and an honors Spanish course at the same time,” he said.
Nieves grew up as a single mother of five children. He credits her, his vice principal and principal, for helping him reach the finish line.
“They have amplified this potential that they’ve seen in me since first year,” he said.
Nieves says his mother is proud, and rightly so, but it’s about more than his academic achievements. He thinks she’s proud of the person he’s becoming.
“She often had to balance between two and four jobs to support all of us, and through her I really saw what it’s really like to fight but still get what you have to do,” he said. “Nothing in this world is given to you. You have to work and earn it.”
As for next, Nieves said he hopes to take the summer off and go straight back to classes in August, this time as a teacher
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