Early College Worcester student Vianna Singh

Early College Worcester student Vianna Singh is someone to watch. This semester Vianna was selected to represent Early College Worcester on the Massachusetts Alliance Early College Student Advisory Council. The group focuses on promoting Early College programs in the state to increase access to higher education as well as improving current processes.

As a member of the Worcester Youth Council, the Worcester Public Schools Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee and her high school's student council, Vianna is no stranger to using her voice to get things done.

"I really like advocating for other students. Some students are scared to talk about things or they don't know how," Vianna said, adding, "A lot of other Early College programs in the state are still developing and they've learned a lot from our group in the Advisory Council meetings."

While only in her junior year at North High School, Vianna is on track to have 15 college credits under her belt when the semester is finished and she has no plans of stopping. Early College students take courses at Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester State University and all courses are part of the MassTransfer program. Students are also offered wraparound support services and can access the college's resources such as the library or tutoring.

"I love taking classes at QCC. The professors are friendly and understanding," Vianna said.

Because of her interest in STEM related topics, Vianna originally considered a Chapter 74 program (a vocational technical education program approved by the state of Massachusetts), but as someone with an already packed schedule, she was concerned about the time commitment. Early College, she described, was another option that fit better with her schedule and after giving it a try, she embraced the college experience and the confidence the program gave her.

"A lot of students have anxieties about school. But there's so much support with Early College. Trying a variety of classes and getting the experience of being on a college campus is a great way to try it out before you make a four-year commitment," she said.

Vianna noted that whether a high school student wants to go to college or not, Early College is a great way to know for sure. She also emphasized the networking aspect of the program, which has allowed her to meet students from other schools throughout Worcester and connect with professors that could lead to letters of recommendation.

"Vianna has been an outstanding Early College student. Her professors and the Early College team are very proud of her efforts and enthusiasm in the classroom. Vianna has a very promising future and is a great ambassador of the Early College Worcester program," said High School to College Linkages Specialist Andrew Kupec.

To find out more, visit qcc.edu/early-college.

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