Veronica speaking at the graduation podium

Student Earns Associate Degree Two Weeks Before Graduating From High School

As we celebrate our graduates this spring, we hear many powerful stories about their experienceboth in college and in life. More often than not, they’re stories of overcoming significant obstacles to reach their dreams.

We get to hear from some of these students during our graduation ceremonies. We call them our “Voices.” Over the next week or so, we’ll be sharing several of their speeches with you here.

We hope you learn something worthwhile from each our our graduate’s voices.

Veronica Soto: Associate of Applied Science

Hello I am Veronica Rodriguez. I am so grateful to be speaking today.

I am part of the FalconTech program, where we had the amazing opportunity to receive our associate’s degree as well as our high school diploma within four to six years.

Scary But Intriguing

This all started four years ago during my last quarter of 8th grade at trail ridge middle school when I first heard of the program. I was told by my counselors at that time.

It was scary but intriguing. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in the program and was hesitant to apply. But towards the end of my 8th-grade year, I decided to take the risk and apply telling myself whatever happens, happens but at least you were brave enough to try.

And then a couple of weeks later I got the acceptance letter. That’s when it all started.

Learning and Growing

If I could go back, I would do the exact same thing over and over again. It was because of that decision, I was able to meet the most amazing, talented, and funny people in my entire life.

I was able to work and grow alongside my peers and see how we have all grown and become people who have such potential in anything that they do.

Some of us will be going to colleges like Mines, CU, CSU, UNC, New Mexico, Oregon, and even Front Range once more. And some of us will go straight to the workforce. But I know for a fact that no matter what we do in the future we will all prosper and be brilliant people. I am truly proud of our graduating class.

Support and Understanding

I was able to work with amazing educators and staff members who were willing to put up with us during all chaotic moments in life. They stood beside us going through COVID, and when we were able to come back to in-person classes once more. And they never stopped believing in us and caring for our futures and for that, I am extremely grateful.

My family always told me that they wanted me to have a good life and to be happy. They always wanted the best. My mom and dad would always tell me to try and be better than them and to always try my best in anything and everything I do.

If it wasn’t for their support and understanding I wouldn’t be where I am today. Even if they keep telling me that they didn’t help at all I want them to know that they helped me in so many ways, more than one and I will truly be forever grateful.

Grateful and Proud

I am forever grateful to the program and Front Range because what we, as a class, accomplished today is such a gift to so many students and something we should all be proud of. I am forever grateful and proud of all my peers and I hope they are so proud of themselves as well because we all grew and are becoming stronger and better people than when we all first started.

So thank you and congratulations to the class of 2023!

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