May 2014
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18 KCPS students graduate with a high school diploma and associate’s degree
Early College Academy offers challenging program for exceptional students
by Sarah Cousineau

It seems like the media is always reporting bad news about the Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS). If you want to hear something different and positive, read on. The Early College Academy (ECA) is a program that helps students earn their associate’s degree while attending high school. The ECA is a partnership between the Kansas City Public Schools and MCC – Penn Valley and has been designed for high achieving high school students who are ready for a challenge. Through the ECA, qualified high school students will earn high school credits while also earning college credits as they attend classes, full-time, on a college campus.
On May 15th, 18 students walked across the stage at Municipal Auditorium, and not only received their high school diploma, but also received their associate’s degree from MCC-Penn Valley.  A bright future is in store for these talented students which include valedictorians and salutatorians at their high schools, Federal Reserve Bank Student Board of Directors participants, a National Merit Scholar, Kauffman Scholars, and more. As of mid-May, the 2014 class of Early College Academy graduates have earned more than $7.9 million in scholarships and grants.
Here are the students graduating from the program this year, listed by high school and with the college they plan to attend:
  • Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
    • Cynthia Odu (not pictured), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • Chinasa Okolo, Pomona College
    • Anh Nguyen, University of Kansas
    • Molly Dillinger, University of Missouri
  • Northeast High School
    • Dixie Robinson, Avila University
    • Kelvrin Washington, Northwest Missouri State University
  • Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts
    • Sophie Deines, University of Missouri - Kansas City
    • Destiny Washington, University of Iowa
    • Dominique Young, University of Missouri - Kansas City
  • Southwest Early College Campus
    • Joseph Carl, Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
    • JohnPaul Culver, Northwest Missouri State University
    • Edwin Huntington, Missouri University of Science and Technology
    • Cindy Tran, University of Missouri - Kansas City
    • Thuong Nguyen, University of Missouri - Kansas City
    • Mario Lee, Johnson County Community College
    • Hannah Kludy, Northwest Missouri State University
  • East High School
    • Enilse Ramiriez, Deferred action enrollment
    • Cristian Jackson, University of Missouri - Kansas City
This is the fourth year of the Early College Academy program, and it continues to grow- currently 40 students are on track to graduate with associate degrees in the spring of 2015. Students are recruited in the fall of their freshman year and begin taking the necessary prerequisite classes. Those who maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher, plus score at or above the Early College Academy requirements on the COMPASS test, are invited to apply to the program at the end of their sophomore year.
This program is funded by the Kansas City Public Schools. To learn more about Early College Academy, visit
Congratulations, graduates!

Published by Central Bank of Kansas City
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Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.  This is an advertisement.
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