DHS AA Graduate Spotlight – Russell Summerlin
Russell Summerlin is one of seven Darlington High School Early College Honors Program students set to graduate with his Associate of Arts degree from Florence-Darlington Technical College.
Two years ago, when DHS unveiled its Associate of Arts Degree program for qualified Early College Honors Program students, Russell decided to rise to the challenge and take advantage of this opportunity even though he now admits that he did not quite know what he was agreeing to do.
While only a high school sophomore, Russell committed to spend the next two years, including two summers, devoted to a full-time college course load each semester in addition to his other high school classes. His hard work has paid off because with the successful completion of his spring courses, Russell will walk during Florence-Darlington Technical College’s Spring commencement ceremony in May and then receive both his college degree and high school diploma during Darlington High School’s graduation ceremony on May 27th.
Russell is also an active student at Darlington High School. He participates in Anchor Club, Key Club, and Student Government. In his free time, Russell enjoys working out and hanging out with friends. After high school, Russell will be joining the military and attending Francis Marion University to eventually pursue a career in law enforcement.
Russell has every reason to be proud of his accomplishments through Darlington High School’s Early College Honors Program because he is the first person in his family to earn a college degree. In fact, he says that few in his family even have a high school diploma, so he is very proud to “be walking across a stage receiving a diploma and a two-year college degree the same day.” Russell’s experience in the ECHP has definitely been unique. He admits to not knowing what he was getting when he decided to work toward his degree because up until then he had never been an over achiever or been motivated “to do something spectacular in school.” He says that the program sounded good, so he thought he would give it a try. He credits staying in the program to the encouragement he received from his fellow classmates and says, “I’m proud of all seven of us.”
We are proud of you too. Congratulations Russell Summerlin!