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home : community : community July 9, 2020

5/1/2020 3:43:00 PM
Kayla Grigg Earns Diploma And Associate's Degree
Simultaneous honors for Gaston College student
Kayla Grigg
Kayla Grigg

Lincoln Herald Staff

Gaston College’s Kayla Grigg will have a graduation that’s twice as nice.

How? As college spokeswoman Stephanie Michael Pickett explained Thursday, Grigg, a senator for its student government association, has simultaneously earned her high school diploma and an associate of arts degree.

Pickett continued that for Grigg, 18, a student in the early college high school program, located on the Dallas Campus, serving on the SGA meant representing the collective voice of students and sharing with instructors, advisers and lead staffers what the student experience is like. Grigg’s participation in the early college program offered her the opportunity to earn the two certifications at once.

But when she was accepted into the program, she had some initial anxiety.

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“Being a first-generation high school and college graduate,” she said, “I was extremely insecure about whether I would be capable of getting to the point of graduation. However, over the past four years, I accomplished far more than what my eighth-grade, insecure self ever thought I could.”

Growing up, Grigg enjoyed team sports. But the early college program doesn’t have any, so her freshman year was a difficult adjustment. However, she decided to get involved in organizations on the Dallas Campus.

Grigg was invited to join Gamma Beta Phi, an honors society which is the college’s largest club. Through Gamma Beta Phi, she heard that Renita Johnson, the college’s director of student activities and special projects, was looking for members to get involved with the SGA.

“I automatically knew I wanted to be a part of this, because I genuinely love showing school pride,” said Grigg, adding of her SGA work, “Life is simply what you make of it. I realized that I can do anything I set my mind to. But through the help of advisers, guidance counselors, friends and family, I also realized that it is OK not to be able to do everything on my own. I can go through this school journey making memories and enjoying my time.”

Grigg plans to further her education at Gardner-Webb University as a member of the honors college. She is considering majoring in health care management.

“It is because of my journey at Gaston College that my academic skills are where they need to be to complete university level work,” she said. “Being a student ambassador and a part of the SGA, Men of Excellence, Gamma Beta Phi and the Gaston Early College High School have all allowed me to grow as a person and as a student. I have learned to be myself and allow my unique personality to add to the task set in front of me.” 

More about early college

Gaston College’s early college high school program is a unique initiative co-operated by the college and the Gaston County Schools.

This exclusive, non-traditional high school offers Gaston County students the opportunity to receive a high school diploma an associate in arts degree from the college at the same time. It offers state-of-the-art technology and rigorous academics. Students take college courses at no additional cost, and after graduation, they may transfer to a four-year college or university.

Check out the Website to learn more at

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2020
Article comment by: Cody Mummau

What an awesome article about an equally awesome person. Along with this incredible academic and personal achievement, Kayla is a person who serves others. She leads a group of middle school girls at her church, has served at a local camp, etc. Gaston College and now Gardner-Webb are definitely blessed to have her as part of their institutions! Well done Kayla!

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