Barkot Simegn was taking high school-level math and science classes in middle school. His aptitude for taking higher-level courses than his grade made him a natural candidate for the concurrent enrollment program at the Community College of Aurora.
“I’ve always been self-motivated and self-sufficient and wanted to become the best version of myself possible,” said Simegn, who attends Overland High School in Cherry Creek School District. “I’ve always just done my own work, understood everything, and just worked to make what I do possible. I want to stress that I don’t believe I did this truly by myself. The people behind me worked as a safety net.”
As a tribute to his impressive academic achievements, Simegn will be the first concurrent enrollment student to graduate with an Associate of Science degree in the spring. At Overland High School, Simegne completed AP Calc BC, AP Physics 1, AP Physics: C Mechanics, and a number of other advanced placement classes. To complete the requirements for the degree, he took public speaking and music appreciation courses through CCA online.
Concurrent enrollment at CCA allows high school students to take college-level courses for free. This generally means students save at least $400 for each 3 credit course taken in the program. This reduces the time it takes to obtain a college degree. The credits transfer to any public college in Colorado.
“It’s free, guaranteed college credit, and free college is one of the best things you can do while in high school,” Simegn said.
At Overland High School, Barkot is a member of his school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and president of the school chess club. An avid musician, he also plays in the marching band, the wind ensemble, and jazz band.
“My favorite activity is Band, I love playing the saxophone and all the opportunities playing has given me, from pit orchestra to honor band, to soloing and improvisation, I wouldn’t take any of it back,” he said.
As for advice for other students, Simegn recommends being proactive in going after what they want.
“The biggest piece of advice that I can give is don’t think that opportunities will fall in your lap, just because something hasn’t been done doesn’t mean it can’t, and if you see something you think you can do, don’t wait for someone else to do it, go for it.”
For high school students who are interested in concurrent enrollment, visit ccaurora.edu/CE.