East Texas teen earns HS diploma and associate's degree

Photo: KTRE
Photo: KTRE

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - At such a young age of 18, Brayli Yarborough has two degrees under her belt. The high school student recently graduated with a Diploma and an Associates Degree.

"It's pretty awesome to know that I have two years done," Yarborough said.

But her journey started two years ago when her mother gave her the option to enroll at Pineywoods Academy that would allow her to take college courses. She agreed and took a keen interest in child and family development which helped her earn the Associate's Degree from Angelina College.

In recent years, trends show that more and more students are walking away with two degrees. Chandra Cheshire is a Child and Family Development instructor at Angelina College, who is one of the instruction in the dual credit program.

"This group was kind of special because they took basically everything with me," Cheshire said. "With you know, they started off with me and my very first semester of teaching and so they just now graduated."

Cheshire has a group of close to 20 who graduated with the two degrees. She said there are benefits such as saving money, being job ready, and reduced the time to earn a Bachelors Degree for students fulfilling college credits in high school. But she also offers another perspective that many times those credits may be un-used.

"At 14, not very many of them know what they want to do so they just start taking credits and sometime it doesn't always go to their degree but the good thing about child and family is if it doesn't go to their degree it helps them be a better parent, it helps them be a better worker," Cheshire said.

While despite the challenges of maintaining a college and high school schedule, Yarborough said the results were rewarding.

"Knowing that my family is proud of me," Yarborough said.
The teenager is working through the summer. Her plans to take a gap year and then attend Stephen F. Austin University and major in social work.

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