Kristiana Payton of Gulfport is not your typical high school graduate. She is also an MGCCC graduate, finishing both high school and her associates degree simultaneously through MGCCC’s Collegiate Academy.

“I am excited to graduate, and I’m looking forward to going into college in the fall as a junior with my associates degree already behind me! I’m so thankful for my parents, Gulfport High School and, of course, MGCCC for providing me with this great opportunity.”  

Payton, a political science major, plans to attend law school and become a criminal defense attorney.  Being able to complete her associates degree while in high school has saved her two years of time in college with a major that is expected to take a total of seven years.

“Collegiate Academy has been a great experience for me and is something I would definitely recommend to other high school students.”

“That means that I will be out of college and working, building up my career, two years before others my age. I think that is incredible!”

During the past two years, she has taken classes at both Gulfport High and at MGCCC. She also found time to compete on the track and cross country team in high school and serve on the college’s Campus Activities Board. She has also interned for a law firm in Biloxi during the same period. In 2017, she was selected as an MGCCC Homecoming maid.

“I like to stay busy and it has definitely been a busy two years,” she said. “Collegiate Academy has been a great experience for me and is something I would definitely recommend to other high school students.” 

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