In response to Nicki Minaj’s offer to help with tuition for straight A students!…
Dear Nicki (and anyone else who might be interested!),
My son is 14 years old and is getting straight A’s in college. Yup, you heard that right! [His current GPA is 3.83.]
He started college last quarter (Winter 2017) and is now in his second quarter (Spring 2017) at Portland State University (PSU) here at home in Portland, Oregon.
He has learning disabilities (as a result of being lead poisoned as a toddler) but he is also incredibly gifted (a challenging combination, especially in terms of the public school system here!) and public high school could not meet his needs – because it was both overwhelming (“too many subjects and mindless homework” and overcrowded classrooms full of “too many kids that didn’t seem at all serious about learning”), yet no option for more advanced (as opposed to merely MORE) coursework and instruction in the subjects where he has advanced skills (math and music) – at the level and pace that he wanted to learn. Bottom line: he wanted more advanced math, science and music, and he wanted to progress more quickly in those areas than he was able to in high school; he was also eager and impatient to explore applied math and science – in the form of engineering!
In addition to being an serious student, he is also an excellent musician. He played [trumpet] with the American Music Program of the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra at the 2016 Monterey Jazz Festival last September [just a little over a month after his 14th birthday], has played on the main stage at the Portland Blues Festival two years in a row (2015 & 2016), and he is currently studying music [and is now learning piano] at PSU, as well as independent lessons on trumpet. And he is really enjoying college math!
He is now getting straight A’s in college – but does not qualify for most scholarships because he has not yet graduated high school (which makes sense, given he is only 14!). The new PSU “free tuition” program requires that he be “a fully matriculated student that has graduated from high school, or has passed the GED” (which he cannot take until age 16).
In college he is focusing on math and music, and each quarter will take at least one additional academic course (Spanish, science, history, etc.) if his credit allowance has room for it (he can only take up to eight credits as a non-matriculated student in the “regular” quarters – Fall, Winter, Spring – and up to 21 credits in the Summer quarter.
“Proof” of his grades is right here (see graphic of his transcript below).
Please consider helping us with a scholarship for him. His regular classes (+ books) work out to about $2,200 a quarter [and as much as $5,000+ in the summer quarter], and he will need to complete at least five more quarters before he is 16 and old enough to take the GED and apply to attend as a regular full-time college student – which will make him eligible for normal scholarship opportunities and the PSU “free tuition” program!
Thank you for making this pledge on Twitter! At this point we do not have funds to pay for his summer quarter, so your consideration would be very much appreciated!