Holmes dual-enrolled student earns associate degree while simultaneously graduating high school

Pictured is Addison Stevens, a 2020 Holmes valedictorian and Hall of Fame inductee, who graduated from Holmes at the same time she graduated from high school.
Pictured is Addison Stevens, a 2020 Holmes valedictorian and Hall of Fame inductee, who graduated from Holmes at the same time she graduated from high school.
Each year, Holmes Community College honors students with the highest GPAs as valedictorians and salutatorians. This year, one of the valedictorian had an even more impressive accomplishment: Addison Stevens of Madison earned her Associate of Arts degree as a dual-enrollment student while simultaneously graduating from high school.

The daughter of Stephanie and Richard Stevens was home-schooled while also enrolled as a dual-enrollment student at Holmes for two years. A pre-medical major, the 17-year-old Stevens earned a 4.0 GPA, was a President's List scholar and stayed active on campus. Specifically, she was an ACT, science and math tutor; a member of STEM Club; a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a volunteer for Dr. Rekam Giri, cleaning and organizing the physics lab.

"Addison Stevens was my student in General Physics I & II," said Physics Instructor/Engineering Advisor Dr. Rekam Giri. "Addison is sincere, hardworking and intelligent. She has shown keen interest in higher studies in her field and her analytical ability is excellent. She is also well-disciplined and honest. Comparing her with all the students that I have had until now, I rank her well within the top three percent. She has strong growth potential in her career and I know she'll be an asset to any institution she attends. I wish her a bright future ahead."

Stevens has a heart for service and despite her busy schedule, completed 100 plus hours of community service. She has made cards for nursing homes, made blankets for the homeless and has volunteered for multiple organizations, including the Salvation Army, Operation Christmas Child, Lake Caroline Arts and Crafts Festival and Madison County Library. Stevens organized the Webster Animal Shelter Supply Drive, as well.

"I loved my time at Holmes," Stevens said. It was one of the best decisions I've made! I truly believe Holmes was the community college for me. I enjoyed the small class sizes on campus and loved forming personal connections with my instructors. Holmes has allowed me to grow so much as a person, while achieving my goals.

"One of my favorite activities at Holmes was the science labs, where I formed many great friendships with my peers while I obtained valuable hands-on experience. One of my favorite lab instructors was Dr. Milliken. His love for teaching chemistry was very inspiring and had a huge impact on me. He was very quick to respond to questions and always made an attempt to form connections with his students. The love and support all of my teachers gave me, even throughout these unprecedented times, helped me succeed.

Stevens decided to start classes at Holmes in her junior year of high school.

"Knowing that I have many years of school ahead as a pre-medical major, I wanted to get a head start on my college credits," Stevens said. "Additionally, some of my friends began attending Holmes that year and I wanted to join them. My advice to anyone following in my footsteps is to stay focused on your goals, try your best and never give up."

Now that she is a Holmes graduate, her next goal is to earn her bachelor's degree at The University of South Alabama, majoring in biomedical sciences. Then, Stevens plans to continue on to medical school.

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