Carlos Diaz, 17-year-old Lorain resident, and senior in Lorain County Community College’s Early College High School program will graduate with an associate of the arts degree this May while also receiving his high school diploma.

Carlos Diaz

“I chose LCCC because I felt that it would give me a great insight in future college goals,” Diaz said. “I felt that it would allow me to find what I would want from a college. I am happy to say I was able to find this information through LCCC.”

He plans to attend Kent State University this fall and study nursing.

Diaz credits the faculty and staff at LCCC for his success, “I had a wonderful support network. I was able to get all the help I needed during my time here at LCCC.”

Early College High School math teacher Daniel Vasi stood out to him. “He cares about his students and is there for them in their times of need,” Diaz said.

In addition to excelling in his coursework, Diaz has been doing community service for a year and a half through Promoting Achievement through Community Education (PACE). Last year he completed more than 400 hours of community service, he said.

Some of the work he has completed includes repainting the mural in Pawlak Park in Lorain, helping set up and tear down the FireFish Festival and helping with a children’s STEM Summer of Innovation camp. He also tutors some of his peers in subjects such as anatomy in his spare time.

The Early College High School ultimately allows students to start in ninth grade and participate in the combined high school and college experience. This graduation marks the tenth graduating class. Curriculum is challenging, support services plentiful and family involvement encouraged; many students take part in an early scientist program where they perform in-depth research. The rigorous curriculum is also aligned to state standards and assessments. All courses are taught tuition-free to allow younger students the ability to experience the college’s resources, laboratories, performing arts center, technology and non-traditional instructional strategies.