As an aspiring writer, Anthony Hendrickson knows the definition of family; and it’s been families, both his own and the one he has at the OTC Table Rock Campus, who have been his biggest supporters over recent months.
“OTC is a pretty fascinating place. I’d always wanted to come here,” Anthony said.
Anthony is one of two Hollister High School students enrolled in OTC’s new Dual-Graduation Program started last fall at the Table Rock campus.
Through the program, students take college courses that count toward college credits and high school graduation requirements.
“The experience for the student in the Dual-Graduation Program is also completely different than a Dual Credit Program since they are enrolled as a full-time college student in classes full of college students,” said Dr. Rob Griffith, Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at the Table Rock campus.
“In a traditional dual credit model, they simply take a regular high school course with a bit of additional rigor.”
Anthony is halfway toward meeting the graduation goals for both Hollister High School and OTC, but his success in the program was nearly derailed in the spring when a fire destroyed about 60 percent of his home while Anthony was preparing for finals.
Suddenly, his family was sent searching for ways to overcome the devastating effects of the fire that destroyed many of their household and personal possessions.
“It was pretty chaotic with the fire,” Anthony said. “It certainly was challenging.”
Anthony and his family (both of his parents also attend OTC) got a little help from their OTC friends, which included OTC students, faculty, staff and the OTC Foundation.
“We got gas and food cards, so many bags of clothes. OTC has been amazing. They were so eager to help. We were having a tough time,” he said.
Life has begun to normalize. The family has found a new home and Anthony is back at work as a student ambassador at the Table Rock campus. He also works as a custodian at Hollister High School to earn money for school.
Anthony wants to have a career writing novels and said being in the new Dual-Graduation Program has helped him prepare for his career.
“I like the atmosphere here in the program. The teachers push you to the best of your abilities. They help me make decisions. They’ll do whatever it takes to help you out,” he said.
Anthony said his family will never be able to repay OTC for what the college has done for them, but Anthony knows of one way he can show his gratitude.
“I can pay them back by giving this program my best shot,” he said.