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Ohio student graduates from college before earning high school diploma

Cameron Ray won't graduate from high school until 2021, but he now has his associate's degree from Cuyahoga Community College.

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — A Warrensville Heights junior is definitely ahead of schedule when it comes to his graduation timetable. 

On Tuesday night, Cameron Ray received his associate's degree from Cuyahoga Community College, thanks to a program in Ohio that provides students in grades 7-12 with the opportunity to earn college credits.

“Everyone is usually pretty surprised when I tell them I’m only a junior in high school,” Cameron says. He is the youngest Warrensville Heights student ever to graduate from Cuyahoga Community College. 

Cameron won't graduate from Warrensville Heights High School until 2021, but he's now set to attend Cleveland State University next semester to pursue his dream of a career as a film director. 

“I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the best things in life you’ll be fearful of,” he said when asked about taking classes alongside adults on a college campus. “But you’ve got to push yourself and get acquainted.”

Cameron is among those students in the state enrolled in Ohio College Credit Plus. The program started in 2015, growing from 54,000 to 71,000 participants in two years. The program has saved Ohio families more than $569 million in tuition, while bolstering career readiness that helps employers in need of skilled workers.

Cameron said the only person he knows of who graduated college at his age was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and “that is something I’m especially proud of.”