COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WFXG) - A Columbia County teen is getting ready for the next chapter of her life after graduating from college before graduating from high school with the highest honors.
18-year-old Sydney Parish recently graduated from Greenbrier High School, but before walking across that stage, she earned her associates degree in paralegal studies from Georgia Military College about a week before.
She’s been taking college classes since she was 15.
“She enjoyed it,” her father Michael Parish said. “It went really well for her, so after that she decided to go full-time her junior and senior year.”
She’s already putting that new degree to work at Durham Law Firm in Evans where she’s a legal secretary and does some paralegal work.
At one point she was working there, while taking all college classes, making the president’s list every semester, and taking on high school extracurricular activites like serving as the captain of the swim team.
“At the time, when it was senior skip day, and I was sitting in a final exam for calculus, I didn’t feel like it was worth it,” Sydney said. “It felt tiring, and hard and I was burned out, but I kept pushing through it, and now that I’ve got this degree, and I’m saying ‘wow, I only have a year and a half left of college and I can go to law school,’ It’s definitely looking like it’s gonna be worth it.”
“We’re very proud of her,” her dad said. “It’s something that she’s been very driven, and had a goal in mind and stuck to it from really early on.”
Now, Sydney is prepping to take the LSAT test for law school applications in December.
“My dream is to eventually open my own private practice,” she said, “probably here in Augusta, and be able to give back to all the people that of helped me because this was not an easy process.”
“She’s definitely driven,” her father said, "and I think she’ll do very well at the University of Georgia, and continue to law school, and one day be a very good attorney.