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Best Friends Experience Early College Together

February, 2020
  • Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez

Two peas in a pod…that’s what most people think of when they meet South High School students Milexie Evri and Shannen Jimenez. The seniors, who have been friends and virtually inseparable since high school, have recently been taking part in Quinsigamond Community College’s Early College Program. They are currently on-track to complete their fifth class this semester, which will earn them a total of 15 college credits before they even graduate high school.

QCC’s Early College program gives high school students the ability to take college courses for college credit at no cost. The program gives students a chance to experience college ahead of time, with the goal of having students enroll in college after they graduate from high school. The program allows students to earn college credits while simultaneously attending high school as is the case for Ms. Evri and Ms. Jimenez.

According to Ms. Jimenez, both students are currently taking AP classes at their high school; however, when they found out about the opportunity to take college courses for credit at no cost, they each jumped at the chance.

The students say they find the college courses challenging, but both said they are enjoying the independence.

“You have to be independent and you either do the work or you don’t. You are treated as adults,” Ms. Evri said. “Being able to experience college, the classes, and the college environment for credit, and for free, has been great.”

“As my parents said, ‘if you do it, do it right,’” Ms. Jimenez continued.

Both young women have already taken a variety of courses together that included art, psychology, business law and introduction to microcomputer applications. This semester they are each taking a different mathematics course. They come to QCC each day on a Worcester school bus and travel home at the end of the day by way of the city bus.

Their schedule is incredibly busy and they each put in hours nightly doing homework, yet the two don't seemed phased by the work load.

“We’ve got it down and we know how to manage our time,” Ms. Jimenez said.

The early college experience has been one that both young women say has been a positive one, noting the support they have been receiving from their QCC instructors.

“The teachers are very nice and a lot of them are really encouraging. They understand we have other things in our lives and high school too,” Ms. Jimenez continued. “They make you feel comfortable and listen to you.”

According to Ms. Jimenez, her older sister has also started QCC and her mom is now interested in coming to QCC for nursing.

While Ms. Evri and Ms. Jimenez have applied to several colleges along with QCC, they both believe they will end up attending QCC.

“The faculty are here for you if you need anything,” Ms. Jimenez added. “This has been a good experience.”

To learn more, visit QCC’s Early College Program.