Local News 8: Local Teen Graduates Early with College Credits

Originally aired on Local News 8 – August 19, 2018

SHELLEY, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – At 16 most kids are learning how to drive, well a 16-year-old in Shelley is getting ready for college. McKinley Hammond not only graduated at 16 she is also graduating with 30 college credits.

Hammond started Idaho Virtual Academy, an online public charter school when her family was traveling a lot due to her dad’s job.

“We don’t like being without him because he’s my dad. We looked into online school because we wanted to be able to travel with him and still receive Idaho funds for my high school courses,” says Hammond.

Not only did she finish her high school courses early she earned 30 college credits and she has earned many scholarships to help with college.

“I applied for a couple scholarships and I got them. I received one from the Idaho Space Grant, the Idaho Community Foundation, and a couple other ones from Bingham County.”

All of these accomplishments have made her family proud.

“I’m happy that she made her goals and stuck to her goals and set an example for her younger siblings. She’s the oldest of four,” says Sesha Hammond, McKinley’s mom.

“I feel really proud of her for all the hard work that she has done. It’s been pretty rough but other than that it’s been pretty good,” says Matthew Hammond, her younger brother.

McKinley says she is ready to take on college.

“I’m a lot less stressed about my first year of college because I don’t have to stress about the finances am I going to be able to pay for the courses I want to take because I want to take a lot.”

She plans to start college at BYU Idaho and major in electrical engineering.

To learn more about Idaho Virtual Academy, visit https://idva.k12.com/

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