Brookley Eilers got more than her diploma at Sunday's Eldon High School graduation.
Eilers spent all four years of high school taking dual-credit courses and online classes run in conjunction with State Fair Community College. That hard work paid off Sunday when she was awarded her Associate of Arts degree at EHS' commencement ceremony. Officials say she is the first EHS graduate ever to simultaneously earn a college degree.
"It's kind of overwhelming because everybody gets a little bit of time to do their general education and screw up a little bit," she told KRCG 13, "but I get to go straight into my major, which is also really exciting because I will be so much closer to my degree."
Eilers' classes meant she took on a very heavy workload, though with the exception of a pair of online classes she was able to complete her degree through her normal high school schedule. She said the online classes were the hardest part of her curriculum.
Eilers said she plans to study fashion design at Kent State University in Ohio because she likes to express herself through her clothes. She wore a pair of shoes that she carefully covered with gold glitter for graduation.
Eilers urged current and future high school students to take as many dual-credit classes as they can since they will have to take many similar courses in college.
"My best friend even said, 'I wish I had taken pre-calculus in high school for dual credit,'" she said.
Eilers said she will enter Kent State with 64 credit hours. She said she was not planning on earning an advanced degree at this point but she might consider doing so.