Premier High School – New Braunfels (Class of 2014)
Not one student is the same as another and each has different goals and plans following high school graduation. For Baleigh Morgan, her goal was to get a jump start on college and the personalized, self-directed learning environment at Premier High School helped her become successful.
“I graduated high school in 2014 at the age of 17 and started university in August of 2014,” says Morgan. “After graduating with my Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (BAIS) in International Relations from Texas State University in May of 2018, I immediately started applying to graduate schools.”
Morgan is on the fast track to making her dreams come true. She is currently a master’s candidate of Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies at The Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), in Monterey, California.
“Starting work on my master’s degree at MIIS, is by far what I consider to be my greatest success since leaving high school,” says Morgan. She goes on to say that, although she didn’t decide to pursue her major until her senior year of university, she was inspired in high school to continue learning French. “MIIS is a known language school and one must have a foreign language proficiency, and be willing to continue working towards fluency in order to make it at MIIS.”
Morgan admits that it wasn’t easy to graduate high school early. She says that the support of Premier High School – New Braunfels Lead Teacher Sharon Jones played a major role in her success thus far. “She encouraged me every single day to keep my head high so that I could graduate early,” says Morgan. “I was taking college-level courses for credit and working toward graduating high school, all at the same time. Ms. Jones helped me hours on end to achieve my goal of graduating early so that I could start college early.”
Morgan calls herself a ‘homebody’ and that although she was accepted to several under-grad colleges across the country she chose Texas State University to be close to home. “Without the encouragement that I received from Ms. Jones, I would not be where I am today,” says Morgan “She’s the best.”
“I was on the fence about going to graduate school, but I am so thankful that I made the choice to do so.” Morgan says, “The content that I am studying is absolutely amazing. At just 23 years old, I’ll have a master’s degree, and I wouldn’t be here without the help of Premier High School – New Braunfels and Ms. Jones.”
It takes motivation to stay on track to early graduation. The quote by author Kobi Yamada that says, “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans” helps keep Morgan inspired. She understands that to be successful you have to be sure to be on the right path for you. “It took me from switching my degree plan from psychology to international relations to actually begin to think about my career path,” says Morgan. She remembers that the course she took her senior year, politics of extremism, is what sparked her interest in studying terrorism and women in terrorism.
“I know that I want to work for either the federal government or a non-governmental organization studying women and terrorism. My dream is to go into the field helping women in conflicted areas learn valuable skills and to further their education in order to rise to a comfortable position within their societies so that they will be less likely to join terrorist organizations,” says Morgan. “Giving these women opportunities so that they don’t feel persuaded by terrorist propaganda is my ultimate goal in life.”
Morgan’s advice to current high school students is simple – “just keep going.” She has recognized that education is a powerful thing in today’s world and is the reason she’s been able to accomplish so much at a young age. Morgan says that although, “High school may seem underwhelming now, once you get to college and can start focusing on who you want to be in life, it’s the start of an amazing journey.”
For more information about the ResponsiveEd Alumni Network, please visit www.responsiveed.com/alumni/.
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