BOSTON

‘I've Worked So Hard for This': 2 Boston High School Students Make History

Melanie Sola and Javon Graham, both 18, are the first two students in Boston Public Schools to earn their high school diplomas and college degrees at the same time

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At just 18, Melanie Sola and Javon Graham are making history.

They're the first two students in Boston Public School history to earn their high school diplomas and associate's degrees from college at the same time.

"It's important that we all set goals for ourselves and sometimes exceed those goals," said Graham. "I've worked so hard for this."

"Time management became one of my strong suits," said Sola. "I just can't believe we actually did it."

The two are part of the early college and dual enrollment program at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury.

"They make me very, very proud," said Taneka DeGrace, who runs the program known as RoxMAPP, which allows students to take classes at local colleges.

Sola and Graham earned enough credits to get a degree.

"Juggling a college campus, juggling high school," said DeGrace. "It's amazing what they did."

Sola earned a degree in liberal arts at Bunker Hill Community College and she'll have a cosmetology license from Madison Park.

Graham's degree is in biomedical engineering technology from the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology.

Both students will now head to Northeastern University in the fall, where Sola will study mechanical engineering and Graham will study pharmacy.

"To show that this is the work that I've put in for two years of my life while still in high school is just really satisfying," Graham said.

"This experience has been like no other," added Sola. "I feel like I've grown immensely."

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