European Expedition

Junior to Graduate Early to Travel
Ives poses for senior photos. She will be graduating early.
Photo courtesy of Aspen Ives
Ives poses for senior photos. She will be graduating early. Photo courtesy of Aspen Ives

With a deep breath, she faces the counselor with both determination and hope as she begins to describe a rare possibility. She smiles as she begins to talk about the opportunity of a lifetime: to leave the town where she was raised and move to another country. The two discuss options and come up with a solution that allows her to follow her dreams:  junior Aspen Ives will leave behind friends and family and prepare herself to step into a whole new world. 

Ives will graduate early this year. She will move in with her dad’s family in Europe where she plans to travel and attend college  through American-based programs or online. 

“I’m doing it mostly for the experience because I think that there is a lot of the world I haven’t seen,” Ives said. “I’m grateful for the amazing counselors and school district as they made it to where I was able to graduate early this year.”

Ives was born in Alaska, moved shortly before kindergarten to Lindale, and has lived here ever since. She recently reached out about traveling to Europe in the summer, but her  family offered to let her stay as long as she wanted. 

“I’ve lived in Lindale pretty much all of my life,” Ives said. “I grew up here, and I know I will miss the familiarity of it, but I think it is time for me to explore new opportunities.”

Ives has doubled up on her classes, which include senior-level classes, in order to gain all the credits needed to graduate. She was moved to the Foundation Education Plan and is taking the classes in-person. 

“When this opportunity came up for me to graduate this year and not with my class, there was almost no hesitation,” Ives said. “I knew this was the path I was supposed to be on.”

Aspen will be ranked with her junior class to not interfere with current senior rankings. She will still need to take required testing such as the SAT and the ACT, as well as complete her senior-level classes. 

“Adding in senior-level classes  is typically rare and not many students do it per year,” freshman and junior counselor David Ramsey said. “I think it’s going to be a seamless transition, and she is going to thrive in her new environment.” 

Ives will be with her father in Europe for the first two weeks upon arrival. Then, he will return to the States while she will stay with her grandmother and additional family in northern France and Rome.  

“I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to go and live with them,” Ives said. “This has always been a dream of mine, and my family has been extremely supportive throughout the process.”

Ives has applied to American universities based in Rome that are similar to colleges in the United States. She plans to major in international business and affairs. 

“I think there are going to be times I miss home, but I know that my family is always there even if they’re not with me,” Ives said. “I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity where I get to go and spread my wings.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Eagle Eye News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *