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BCTC's Garett Davies, first Opportunity Middle College student, graduates May 9

Garett Davies, a high school senior at Henry Clay High School, decided to take advantage of the Opportunity Middle College (OMC), a partnership between the Fayette County Public Schools and Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC), that gives juniors and seniors a chance to take college classes while earning their high school diplomas. Students take both high school and college courses on BCTC's Cooper Campus.

After two years of hard work, the long hours are paying off for Davies, as he will graduate not only from Henry Clay High School with his diploma, but on May 9, Davies will receive his Associate in Science degree from BCTC.

My older sister, Hunter, introduced me to the Opportunity Middle College program and held the previous record of completing 54 credit hours at BCTC. Initially it was a way to get ahead, to stand out from the pack. However, once I entered the program, I found the teachers really helped the students any way they could and cared about the students more than I've ever seen a teacher care. After I got a taste of it, I was hooked, said Davies.

While a freshman in high school, Davies said he was motivated to join the OMC to challenge himself and improve his prospects in life. Enrolling in the OMC, he quickly grew to enjoy the quality of coursework. It was an amazing change. Instead of being challenged by the sheer volume of work, I was challenged by the quality. That semester re-clarified my goals and directly lead to the student I am today, and I owe it all to OMC, said Davies.

One of the best experiences Davies had while part of the OMC program was working with the high school staff. For example, I constantly helped a teacher with her classes, and each time I had fun helping her students. From the college perspective, my favorite experiences stem from having more freedom in my classes and at the school in general. Instead of curtailing the lecture to the class time, like high school does, the teachers curtail the class time to the lecture, said Davies.

The choice of hundreds of possible courses and access to lab work, were also some of Davies favorite memories. It was nice to be able to chose from so many courses, and I enjoyed the lab work. Ive always learned better with hands-on experience, said Davies. The labs at BCTC are perfect for reinforcing what we learn in lecture.

Passionate about the medical field, Davies said he would like to be a neurologist someday. He enjoys chemistry and physics, and became fascinated with helping people when he enrolled in an anatomy and physiology class his junior year at BCTC. Davies has been accepted at the University of Kentucky, but is really hoping to enroll at Johns Hopkins in the fall. An avid sportsman, Davies hopes to join the University of Kentuckys rifle team next year.

Overall, my experiences at BCTC and especially OMC have been amazing, and I'm glad I had the privilege to spend my last two years of high school and my first two years of college there, said Davies.

For more information about the Opportunity Middle College program, please go to: http://www.omc.fcps.net.