[MAY 9, 2019 | MENA, Ark.] Mena High Senior Halie Standerfer will join the ranks of very few that have the obedience, drive, and ambition to conquer high school and college… all at the same time.
The 18-year old daughter of Tracy and Mary Standerfer, Halie crossed the stage and received her Associate of General Studies degree from the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain ten days before she will be handed her high school diploma with Distinguished Honors during Mena High School’s graduation Sunday, May 19.
Halie said she began her freshman year of high school with the goal of completing her associate’s degree by the time she graduated with her high school diploma. However, as an AP student, the work load was tremendous and she remembers getting to a point that she considered lowering her expectations, “I thought well, ‘if I don’t wind up getting all of my requirements… because I’m taking all of these AP classes… than it’s not going to be the end of the world. I can still have the majority of what I need to have.’” Much to Halie’s surprise, at the beginning of her senior year, she realized she was just two courses from the “light at the end of the tunnel,” and realized with just a little more hard work and determination, it was doable.
Halie’s journey with college level courses actually began her freshman year of high school with Computer Applications with instructor Kandy Page. “I didn’t have a credit at high school I could get for it so I just did it at home, online.”
Proud of her accomplishment, Halie said it is very “manageable and doable.” She was very encouraging of other students to consider this option. “I, honestly, would recommend this, if you’re willing to work with the work load that you get. You will have a substantial difference to those students who just get to breeze by their senior year but honestly, in the end, it’s totally worth it because you are saving money on the front end rather than going to a 4-year university where you’re going to spend a substantial portion more than you would for the exact same courses.”
This tenacious high school senior is not afraid of work or a challenge. Outside of being a college and high school Distinguished Honors AP student, Halie also serves as the President of the Mena Chapter of Future Farmers of America (FFA), President of National Honor Society, President of the Art Club, a member of the National English Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, and a member of the Mountain View Methodist Church Board of Directors.
Halie takes her associate’s degree with her, along with a solid dose of confidence of knowing she is well prepared, as she begins the next phase of her educational journey as a junior at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, majoring in Finance. After earning her bachelor’s, she’ll then head to the hill to complete her master’s degree at the flagship campus in Fayetteville with the ultimate goal of being a financial analyst for a corporation. “I do feel prepared for college. Some people are worried about getting to college and not being able to take finals, or tests, and I do know it will be a different environment at a university but I am confident that I can handle the workload.” Driven to succeed, Halie will do more than handle the workload, she will set the bar higher for everyone behind her.