PAINTSVILLE – Andrew Wright is wise beyond his years.
The 18-year-old Paintsville High School senior secretly applied for the Early College Academy program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) without telling his father, Jimmy, the dean of student affairs at the college.
“I wanted to earn my spot,” said Andrew.
He’s done just that.
Andrew has been accepted to the pre-engineering program at the University of Kentucky. Earlier this month, he was notified that he received the Provost Scholarship.
“I’ve want to become a civil engineer,” said Andrew. “This scholarship makes that possible and validates my work and those who have invested their time and effort in my success.”
He specifically mentioned Toufic Saad, a professor of mathematics at BSCTC.
“Professor Saad was not only a teacher, but he also was a mentor and was very helpful in me learning more about the pre-engineering program at the University of Kentucky,” Andrew added. “I was honored that he was willing to write my recommendation letter.”
Andrew will graduate in May with an Associate of Science degree from BSCTC. He’ll be part of the inaugural Early College Academy graduating class from Paintsville and Johnson Central high schools.
“Being a part of the Early College Academy allowed me the opportunity to advance myself,” Andrew said. “It’s incredible to think that I will be a college junior when others are just entering college.”
The challenge of being an 18-year-old college junior is daunting.
“I admit, I feel nervous sometimes,” Andrew admitted. “I think about how I will measure up, but I know that I have been given the tools to be successful.”
Chuck McClure, principal at Paintsville High School, said the Early College Academy has provided new opportunities for his students to succeed.
“I’m proud of Andrew and all of our Early College Academy students,” he said. “This is our first class, and they have certainly set a standard for others to follow.”
Andrew said being successful in an Early College Academy setting comes down to time management.
“You have to schedule your time precisely, and you have to find time for the things you love to do,” he said.
Andrew is a prominent member of the community theatre scene in Paintsville. He has appeared in ten shows and hopes to continue this while at the University of Kentucky.