16 year old graduates from Kilgore College, high school

16 Year Old College Grad

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Toni Gore is graduating from East Texas Charter School next Friday. But first, she graduated from Kilgore College with two associate degrees.

“I’m so proud of her; for one, it’s a lot of work. A lot of people say ‘I’m just going to take some college classes’ but it’s a lot of work, it’s much different than high school,” said Tina Rushing, a former professor of Gore’s. “She had to balance this with high school.”

Gore said she took the fast track to get a head start on her dream career; becoming a social worker.

“It’s really hard work but once you’re through it, it’s going to help you so much,” said Gore. “It’s going to be cheaper in the end. You’re going to be so much younger and you’re going to be able to make money and have this career you really want all so much sooner than you would and as long as you have the passion for it you can get through it.”

Gore said she couldn’t have done it without the support of some special teachers.

“Thank you for helping me through everything and being there for me,” said Gore. “I have teachers now who when I’m sitting in their class, instead of doing their work they let me do college work, and they just have walked through it with me and helped me get where I need to be.”

Since she just got her license this year, Gore also credited her mom for endless support and being her chauffeur.

“I don’t even think there are words of how proud I am,” said Linda Thomas, Gore’s mother. “I’m proud of her and her hard work and dedication. She has worked so hard to not only meet her goal but exceed it, because she set out to graduate a year early but here she is graduating a year and half early and with two degrees instead of one from college.”

Thomas said if other parents have children capable of taking dual-credits, they should pursue it.

“Trust your child, your child knows their abilities and if they believe they can you need to believe they can too,” said Thomas. “Because believing and having faith in them is 90 percent of it.”

Gore said although the process was stressful, the outcome is worth it.

She plans on getting her social work degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.

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