Michelle Simmons has gotten an early start on a tech career. As part of the Early College program at Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy and Daley College, Michelle has earned an Associate Degree in Computer Science while still in high school. This fall, she heads to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIEU) to continue her studies in computer science to prepare for a career in cybersecurity.

Even as a highly focused and high achieving student, it wasn’t always easy being a high school and a college student at the same time. Her tech classes, especially coding, were challenging at times. She also juggled schoolwork with extracurriculars at Goode, like the National Honor Society, Goode Student Ambassadors, Science Olympiad team, Hack Club, Gaming Club, Technology and Robotics Club, bowling, and soccer. Busy would be an understatement. But she was determined, and her impressive GPA helped her gain entrance to Phi Theta Kappa honor society at Daley, in addition, to be accepted at SIUE as a junior.

Her Early College experience helped her learn to become more independent, saying “you’ve really got to pay attention and be on top of the work. No one is going to remind you of what you need to do.”

Should college classes proceed as planned, Michelle will move to Edwardsville this fall with her two sisters knowing that she is ready for college – after all, she’s already been there.

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