The young adult has wanted to follow his grandparents’ footsteps by joining the military since he was a child.
But one thing held Eric Coe back: He didn’t have his high school diploma.
Now, at 20 years old, he is graduating. More than a year after the rest of his graduating class left Whiteland Community High School, Coe has continued to finish his diploma while also working.
“His story is one of perseverance and not giving up,” said Clark Pleasant Academy student services coordinator Lisa Morris. “At any point, he could have given up. It was a challenge for him.”
Coe transferred to the academy in February 2014, a few months before he was expected to graduate. For nearly two years, Coe has been struggling through math and science classes while the rest of his friends started college or worked. His friends continually poked fun at him about not finishing his diploma on time, but Coe kept telling his friends, “I’ll get it done. You’ll see.”
Coe plans to join the military post-graduation but first wants to get in peak physical shape before enlisting, he said. After spending time in the military, Coe eventually will become a police officer, he said.
Since it has taken more time to finish his high school diploma, Coe has been able to celebrate when taking his final exams this month, he said.
“It’s probably one of the best feelings ever,” Coe said. “It’s like, it’s finally happening. It’s taken a while, but I was never going to give up on it.”
Name: Eric Coe
School: Clark-Pleasant Academy
Future plans: Join the military, then become a police officer