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Taylor Roccaforte’s Early Graduation

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Taylor Roccaforte

Taylor Roccaforte

Taylor Roccaforte

Kaytlyn Vander Meer

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According to Rocky counselor Susan Takahashi, less than 5% of students graduate early, Taylor Roccaforte being one of that 5%.

 

Takahashi says that “students usually just need to move on from high school, and a lot of them want to work.” She continues to explain how this can unfortunately harm students if they try to continue on to college. According to Takahashi, “most colleges would rather have kids in school practicing being a student verses having four months off of school.”

 

Ever since May of 2017, Taylor Roccaforte has known she will graduate early. Up until her senior year of high school, Roccaforte went to Liberty Common High School where she “was taking pointless classes to fill up her time until graduation.”

 

Upon transferring to Rocky at the beginning of the school year, her senior year, Roccaforte has been able to “take the classes she needs.” In addition, transferring to Rocky will allow her to graduate in December and attend Front Range Community College for free in the Spring semester.

 

“Graduating early is saving my family and I a lot of money,” Roccaforte explains, adding that graduating early will also give her a more open schedule to work. Unfortunately, Roccaforte says that the downside to graduating early is that she will lose time in high school with her friends.

 

As Takahashi explains it, the early graduates are no longer in school to hear about school events and therefore no longer attend school dances, games, etc. These students find themselves missing out on a lot of school social events that their friends from high school are still attending.

 

Regardless, Roccaforte didn’t completely enjoy her time in high school and there are things she won’t miss about her time in this isolated world.

 

“I definitely had a very rough Sophomore year,” she said. “I poured myself into a relationship and it ended very badly. I got very lonely and somewhat depressed. It really taught me to not put everything I have into other people and to enjoy the people I can trust and enjoy other things in life and find my happiness in myself.”

 

Roccaforte’s rough sophomore year could be chalked up to Takahashi’s explanation that students graduating early “usually just need to move on.” However, Roccaforte’s reasons aren’t that simple. Roccaforte is graduating early not only to move on to college, but to save her family money and open up space to work as well.

 

The most important thing to Mrs. Takahashi when students graduate early is that they have a plan, which Roccaforte does. In October, she will apply for college and in January she will be attending Front Range to begin her degree in elementary education. This plan is well justified by her desire to save money and work more.

 

Still, Roccaforte isn’t blinded by her solid plan. She knows that it will be a hard transition into college, but her main goal going forward “is to live life focusing on something greater in both the way I treat people and myself and what actions and pathways I take in my lifetime.”

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The Community Experience of Rocky Mountain High School
Taylor Roccaforte’s Early Graduation