N. Attleboro teen graduates H.S. with college degree - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

N. Attleboro teen graduates H.S. with college degree

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By: Alexandra Cowley 
acowley@abc6.com 

It's graduation season when students make that proud walk across stage for that diploma they've worked so hard for. But, when one North Attleboro teen made that walk at his high school graduation, he already had a college degree under his cap.

A stack of textbooks, two caps, and two diplomas later, 18–year–old Jack LaPlante is both a North Attleboro high school grad and Bristol Community College alum.

"All in all, it is pretty awesome," said LaPlante. 

Mom and Dad say their oldest of three was always wise beyond his years.

"He reminds us now and again he's still a teenager, but he's a good kid," laughed dad Jeffrey LaPlante.

Jack tried dual enrollment a little early during his sophomore year. He took a few courses at BCC. He ended up liking it more than he thought.

"It's like everyone at high school is just there because they have to be there, whereas everyone at BCC is there because they want to learn, they want to move on in life," explained Jack.

Jack's mom Veronica is an advisor at BCC and jumped at the opportunity to help her son. She spoke with the high school principal and BCC to see how her son could attend the college full time and still fulfill his high school requirements. She says no one had done it there before.

"I had to make a bridge that wasn't there yet basically," Veronica said. 

Jack spent his junior and senior year of high school on a college campus.

"I kind of just integrated myself right in and that was that it, it wasn't like wow I'm with all these older kids. It was just I felt like I was one of them and then I was," laughed LaPlante. 

So, the family celebrated Jack's graduation at BCC, where he earned an associates in arts and general studies, Summa Cum Laude. One week later he was at his high school graduation.

"It was just a nice day for everybody, nice graduation, and then six days later he's putting on a red cap and gown and its for the high school graduation," explained Jeff.

Jack said, "it was weirdly familiar, it kind of felt like sophomore year was just like two weeks ago or something."

LaPlante will attend UMass Amherst in the Fall, looking to major in computer science. He'll be living on campus to get the full college experience.

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