At this year’s commencement ceremony, a 14-year-old high school student will become the youngest Clark State College graduate to get a two-year degree.
According to a release from the school, Lanna Kunzelman, a Xenia High School student who is projected to graduate in 2024, will receive her Associate of Applied Science degree from Clark State on Saturday during the virtual graduation.
“Lanna is a unique and outstanding student, and we are very proud that she started at and chose Clark State. We are also grateful to Xenia Schools for their partnership,” Clark State president Jo Alice Blondin said. “Lanna is on track to complete her bachelor’s degree before she even finishes high school. Clark State provided her with a pathway that offered academic rigor and training and delivered incredible cost savings to her family.”
“As a full-time student in Xenia, I started taking college credit classes when I was 12,” she said. “I am ecstatic that all of my hard work has paid off and resulted in this fantastic achievement.”
Kunzelman said she discovered a “community” at Clark State, and that the smaller classrooms helped her better grasp her courses and interact with her classmates and professors. After the college had to adjust lessons due to the coronavirus, she said she took both in-person and online courses, which she described as a “tough” experience.
“It was quite difficult to shift to an online format when the pandemic first started in the middle of spring semester last year,” she said. “As time passed, it enabled me to become a better student and adjust to change. I struggled at first since I had not expected the classes to transfer so abruptly, and I had planned to complete the rest of my coursework in person.”
Kunzelman was admitted into Wright State University’s biology program through the college’s gateway transfer program and has registered for summer semester classes.
“At first, it was overwhelming, but with all of the help from Clark State advisers and everyone else who encouraged and supported me, it became clear that this is what I was supposed to do,” Kunzelman said.
Students can obtain free college credits through the CCP program while still in high school. Anyone considering taking the classes, according to Kunzelman, should have a strong support system. Her mother, she added, was a big supporter who assisted her in practicing, drove her to and from sessions, and ensured she had all she needed.
Samantha and Anthony Kunzelman, Kunzelman’s parents, said in a statement, “We knew she was clever from an early age and she continues to astound us with her resilience to any hurdle.” “Lanna will be able to achieve any ambition she desires, and we will always be here to back her up in any of her wild ideas.”
Clark State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday at 10 a.m. Thirty CCP students will graduate with associate degrees and high school diplomas in the class of 2021.