Strong Work Ethic Propels Dual Enrolled Student Toward Her Goal

Right now, I am both a high school senior and a student at my local community college. I am pursuing a pre-health associate’s degree and hope to one day major in dentistry.  My life can get hectic balancing classwork, clubs, and activities at both schools, but it is all worth it.  I have constantly taken classes that have continued to challenge and push me to perform my best.  That is part of the reason why I am a dual enrolled student.  

Sisters in college

I am also one of four daughters who all happen to be attending college at the same time.  My motto is, “the faster I get through school, the more money I can save.”  This is big because there are a lot of expenses for a higher education.  If you multiply that number by four, it might give you an idea of how my parents feel as they work to pay for all of us to complete college. My parents have always been very supportive of all of us.  They taught me to always work hard to stand out.  

Rachel Eccles will receive her Associate’s degree two weeks before she graduates high school in May.

Dedication pays off

My years of academic effort are now starting to show in my achievements.  From the advanced placement classes I have taken in high school and the credits I have earned from classes taught at Walters State Community College, I am set to graduate with my Associate of Science degree two weeks before I receive my high school diploma.  All my friends think I am crazy with being able to accomplish this. They wish they could have done the same.  What they don’t see is all the time and effort I put into my classes, setting up my schedule, and how little downtime I have.  The work ethic my parents instilled in me has set me up to succeed.

Find an inspiration

Recently, I was awarded the Phi Theta Kappa / Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education!  This award helps me cover part of my schooling through my Bachelor’s Degree.  The scholarship has given me more time to focus on my studies while worrying less about finances.  Most importantly, this scholarship is paired with a mentoring program.  While advisers usually work with a large group of students, my Pearson mentor is specifically assigned to me.  We have a lot in common and he has become kind of like a life coach. He pursued the dentistry field and played soccer like I am doing now. The problems he helps me with now are ones he once struggled through as well.  My mentor has told me to find an inspiration in the world and use that to motivate me to reach my full potential.  He himself is an inspiration to reach for your goals as he is helping me in ways in which others could not.  

There is a challenging road ahead of me with applying to transfer colleges, dental school, and prepping my public image.  I am no longer nervous about approaching this daunting task with my family and my mentor by my side.


Rachel is a recipient of the 2017 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Each Pearson Scholar is paired with a Pearson professional mentor who provides support as Scholars progress toward degree completion. We are incredibly proud of all the Pearson Scholars. Please check back as we continue to highlight each scholar’s story!


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