Alicia Baker, formerly of Payson, graduated summa cum laude from Northern Arizona University May 11. She majored in political science, with a minor in criminal justice and is waiting to hear about acceptance into law school.
What makes Baker different from other highly successful college graduates is the fact that she is only 18.
Baker and her mother, Patty, made their home in Payson from 1999 to the fall of 2006. She attended Payson Community Christian School from the eighth through 11th grades. Having earned enough credits, Baker graduated from high school in what normally would have been her junior year and went to college, with more than 20 college hours already acquired.
"I had 26 credits when I started (college) and took 22 credits each semester," Baker said.
She even worked part of her senior year, helping with Mike Caccioppoli's campaign for Congressman Rick Renzi's seat.
In addition to graduating summa cum laude (having the highest grade point average in her class), Baker graduated with two honor society affiliations -- Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Alpha Lambda.
She was also selected to participate in the 2007 U.S. Model House of Representatives, traveling to Washington, D.C.
The American Youth Scholarship Foundation sponsors the program. The program draws one student from each Congressional District to Capitol Hill from May 28 to June 1 for a simulation of the U.S. House of Representatives.
This program is designed to provide Baker and other participants with the foremost experience and education about the inner workings of Congress. Baker hopes to return to Washington, D.C. and make a life for herself there. She aspires to work as a political strategist, which is the role she played in the Caccioppoli campaign.
In addition to her campaign experience, Baker served as a Democratic precinct committeeman for the Payson area.
Now staying with her mother in Superior, Baker is waiting to hear whether or not she will go to law school in the fall. She applied to schools in Tucson, San Francisco and Sacramento.
Despite all her achievements, Baker does not consider herself overly ambitious.
"It's something I can do, so I do it. College was pretty boring really, and easy for me," she said.