Written by Megan Bednar- Foundation Intern, Fall 2021
[Clinton, N.C.] – Yoselin Romero-Jorge, a senior at Sampson Early College High School (SECHS), plans to graduate a semester early in December 2021 with her Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees, as well as with her high school diploma. After graduation, she plans to provide people with access to justice by pursuing a degree in immigration or environmental law.
SECHS is a five-year high school that provides students with the opportunity to obtain an associate degree and/or two years of transferrable college credit along with their high school diploma. Students from all over Sampson County have transferred to four-year universities as juniors because of their credit earned through SECHS, a part of Sampson Community College (SCC).
Before enrolling at SECHS, Romero-Jorge attended Hobbton Middle School (HMS). She began SECHS in December of 2018 as a freshman in high school. Romero-Jorge explained she decided to apply to SECHS on a whim because none of her family had ever attended the early college.
While it was a very new process for Romero-Jorge, in the end, it became a crucial step towards her future.
She voiced, “I loved that everything was a new start, but I worried about whether I would make new friends or not. Now, I love how much I have matured and the people that I have met. It was at the early college that I started to embrace hard work instead of fearing it. I learned to manage my time, and I formed self-motivation. It was a difficult decision to make, especially since I was in 8th grade, but in the end, it was essential.”
In five years, Romero-Jorge plans to be graduating with her bachelor’s degree and preparing to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). However, amidst her schooling, she still plans to keep in touch with her family members and contribute to her community.
Romero-Jorge’s familial and community experiences have inspired her to pursue her degree in immigration or environmental law. Her ancestry has indeed encouraged her to aid others who have experienced similar legal issues like her parents have, so they never have to struggle again.
She wholeheartedly stated, “I want to take responsibility for my family and carry the dreams of my lineage. I have seen my parents struggle with no legal way to see their parents and relatives for over two decades and the interconnections of environmental issues that have challenged my communities and others. I am inspired to act and provide people access to justice and help them navigate systems that would otherwise shut them out.”
While balancing her high school classes with college work has taken some determination, Romero-Jorge expressed that she is grateful for a glimpse into college life. She declared that she is very content with her choices and the experiences she has gained at SECHS.
“My experience at SECHS has taught me to become more comfortable with asking questions and putting myself out there,” Romero-Jorge remarked. “I needed to make connections with peers and teachers to learn more about myself and my community. Although it wasn’t easy at times, I know SECHS has been worth it for me.”
Crystal White, English, Communication, and Sociology Instructor here at SCC, nominated Romero-Jorge for the spotlight because of her studiousness within her classes. White spoke very highly of Romero-Jorge.
She stated, “It is somewhat rare to meet a student like Yoselin who is not only intelligent but goal-oriented and hard-working as well. She does not wait for success to come to her; she goes to it.”
Romero-Jorge announced that she recommends SECHS to other prospective students, but she encourages them to put thought and research behind their decision. It’s a tough call to make during middle school, she said, but you will be proud of yourself and your choice in the end.
“I recommend SECHS to students who want a fresh start and who are willing to put in the effort and reach out to people when they need help,” Romero-Jorge explained. “I promise that potential students will learn to work independently, communicate better with peers and staff, and will find the motivation to keep trying for themselves. Students will have access to great college resources and still benefit from a memorable high school experience.”
SCC is immensely proud of Yoselin. We look forward to seeing how she’ll use her schooling to help others through immigration or environmental law.
For more information about Sampson Early College High School or how to apply, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/earlycollege.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC, in Sampson County. The college offers many programs, including two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.