High school student set to earn diploma and Associates Degree after attending three colleges

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EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – One local student took a different approach to his high school education using principles from a popular sport. Now, he’s way ahead of the class.

Anyone who tells you that you can’t have it all hasn’t met Carter Harwell.  This young man is quite the golfer and a scholar.  He is a rising high school senior and he’s on track for getting his diploma and his Associates Degree. While he’s writing his own education story, he will add playing with a professional golfer to that list too.

“Responsibility, sportsmanship, judgement,” said Harwell, who told NewsChannel 6 it all comes down to the 9 core values he learned as a boy in the First Tee of Augusta golf program he started at age 8.

It’s how Carter Harwell decided to tackle college in high school.

“Does it show honesty? Does it show integrity? Does it show sportsmanship? Does it show perseverance? And if it doesn’t, then the answer is I shouldn’t do it,”  he explained.

The 17-year-old from Evans attends Georgia Cyber Academy, a K-12 online public charter school. He’s a 4.0 student and learned that for him, a higher education is best to start now. So he enrolled in three colleges; Toccoa Falls College, Gwinnette Technical College and by the time he gets his high school diploma, he will also get his Associates Degree in General Studies from Georgia Military College.

“High school is here and college is somewhere way up there right? It’s just going to be a battle all the way right? I took a couple of prep classes and said this isn’t that hard,” he explained using his hands.

Harwell achieves on the golf course too. He has a strong short game and teaches younger players at Bartram Trail Golf Club. He dreams of playing at Augusta National Golf Club one day, but for now he’s looking forward to playing with a pro at the PURE Insurance Championship.

“We get paired up with the pros,” he told us. “They try to pair you with kind of people from your area. There’s a fellow from around here who will actually be playing out there. May end up playing with him.”

Harwell said he’s got life long friends from golf and school even though he’s not in a classroom. And thanks to his parents he’s learning how to balance.

“You have to be able to say this is my time to study. This is my time to work. This is my time to figure out my schooling and that has to come first, before golf, before anything else in my life,” Harwell said.

Harwell said he wants to study law and have a broad range of options that span from being a political analyst to a lawyer. And professional golf isn’t out of the question. That too could be in his future.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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