Writer’s Block: Meet Wonder Woman

By Corinne Wnek

I live a pretty ordinary life. There are some really good times to reflect on and times when you hope it is true that “this, too, shall pass”. In the end, it’s all about making the most of each day. That’s the tricky part. Seeing that there might be a positive outcome to a negative situation takes some vision, introspection and maturity. It’s just that you don’t usually expect that in a fifteen-year-old. Here’s a story about a modern day ‘wonder woman’.

A few years back, Brittany Garcia of Mansfield, New Jersey was a sophomore in high school. She was a pretty good student in a college prep program but was struggling to stay in high school. Now Brittany is straight out of central casting in the gorgeous looks department and somewhat athletic, too. If she were in a sitcom, she would play the perky but sensible girl next door. The problem was that she was already bored with high school academics and badly wanted out, at age fifteen.

As a high school counselor, I often hear this same complaint from parents. “Spencer is just so bored with calculus. That’s why he’s not doing well. Couldn’t he just skip it and really be challenged?” This is a tough one for a counselor because if Spencer would just do the work and get ‘A’s’, he would likely be moved to a higher level class. But rarely do the Spencers of competitive high schools do this. Sometimes it’s more about the perception that one’s child is no mere mortal.

Not the case with Brittany. After many discussions with her counselor and then later the principal, Brittany made her case that she needed a different brand of academics than what any high school could offer her. She wanted a more mature environment that would challenge her, hold her interest and still help her earn a high school diploma. Her parents and the principal agreed to support her but she had to do the legwork and come up with a plan that made sense and was doable.

Brittany contacted nearby Centenary College in Hackettstown and met with the dean to explain her dilemma. Before long, the college and high school were working together to meet Brittany’s need for a more challenging environment. It was decided that Brittany would take courses at the college, earn credit if she passed them and these credits would then transfer back to her high school so she could meet state requirements for a diploma.

Not only did Brittany graduate from her high school in three years but she also graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Did I mention she was only nineteen years old and one of the youngest students in the state to receive a four year degree? Working full time to support herself and living on her own since the age of eighteen, the fiercely independent Brittany once again returned to Centenary College when the dean asked her to teach Math as an adjunct professor and to tutor students who struggled with Math.

She eventually entered graduate school at Centenary and come December, she will receive her Masters degree in Business Administration at the ripe old age of twenty-two. Now this has not been an easy road for Brittany who has handled all the financial responsibilities of adulthood by working several part time jobs while making the Dean’s list at Centenary. If she doesn’t qualify as a ‘wonder woman’, I’m canceling my membership in the super hero’s fan club!

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