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As an 11th grade student at Payson High School, I would like to express how grateful I am to the Payson High School and the Aspire program for the opportunities they have afforded me by providing such a robust dual-enrollment program.

By the end of my junior year, I will have accrued 42 college credits, and by the time I graduate, I hope to have earned my associate degree. The best part? I won’t have to pay for most of this diploma in anything but effort; the Aspire Arizona Foundation has covered the cost of almost every one of my Eastern Arizona College-PHS dual-enrollment courses up to this point, and as long as I maintain a good grade in these classes, they will continue to pay for three of my courses for each semester next year too. What a great opportunity afforded to me and my classmates by Aspire to cover the cost of our dual-enrollment classes so we can go onto postsecondary education with our first — and in some cases second year — of college complete.

I began my first dual-enrollment class, pre-calculus, as a freshman and took calculus as a sophomore.

This year, I am taking English 101/102, history 101/102, and physics 111/ 112 at the high school. Most of my friends are taking at least that many dual-enrollments, too, if not more. Even though they are more difficult than high school classes, we all realize how beneficial these courses are. I have developed greater work-ethic, responsibility, and self-management skills because of these classes.

What really puts this program into perspective for me is the total of my tuition and books scholarship from Aspire and Payson High School, reaching a rate of almost $6,000. In addition, Payson High School and EAC offer 16 dual-enrollment classes, all of which are covered by scholarships. That is a huge investment in me and my classmates.

I value the Payson High School and EAC dual-enrollment program, and I know I am not the only one.

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