North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics honored its sixth NCSSM Online class on Sunday, June 7, 2015. The 115 high school seniors recognized included 65 students who successfully completed the program by taking at least four courses over two years, 44 students who completed a concentration sequence of at least four courses, and 6 additional participants. The students hail from 55 counties across North Carolina. Participants opt to take the challenging courses in addition to completing the normal course load to graduate from their home high schools.
“It takes an extremely motivated and self-directed student to participate in our online program,” NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts told the gathered students and their families. “Thank you for your dedication and your drive, and we congratulate you on your success.”
Moises De Dios Perez of St. Pauls, NC, reads a poem he composed for the ceremony.
Moises De Dios Perez of St. Pauls High School in St. Pauls, NC, is headed to Robeson Community College. He shared a poem about his experiences as an online NCSSM student, including these lines:
“…Time was of the essence
As I withered away from my adolescence
Before I know, I was in Genetics
Where we studied the DNA and its synthetics
Then it was time to go
And I’m proud of every course I had to undergo
For it was NCSSM who taught me to grow and where I learned to be a bro….”
Student speaker Brandon Wheeler of Sanford cited Kurt Vonnegut’s advice to take notice of the times we are happy by telling ourselves, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” Wheeler is headed to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Western Harnett High School. “Before the online program, I liked science,” he told his peers and their families. “[But] I didn’t know any scientists. I had no idea what constituted research… Now, I am surrounded by scientists. I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with research, and research outside of the lab. I’ve targeted genes, studied the environment. I’ve discovered and grown in ways that would have never been possible in my home in Harnett County. Thanks to Online, I’ve become a much better student and a much better person. I’ve grown in every aspect, all thanks to an internet connection and some vacations that are actually school.” He concluded, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t what is.”