Thousands of students will graduate from Norfolk public schools in the coming weeks, but one in particular is taking home his diploma two years early.
“I’ve been here for two years, so technically I should be a sophomore but I decided to work a little bit harder then everyone else and became a senior,” said Keeshond Cheeks.
He is graduating at age 15. “I’m really just nervous and excited at the same time.”
Keeshond started taking high school courses in the seventh grade at The Academy for Discovery at Lakewood.
“I was pretty skeptical at first cause high school classes at seventh grade seemed kind of hard.”
His goal was to enter the Leadership Center for the Sciences and Engineering (LCSE) at Norview High School.
When that didn’t pan out, he and his mom, Konshuanta Shields, decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
“The more we talked about it and you know, threw it around, it made sense,” she said.
He took two English classes his freshman year, and added another in summer school.
“I can’t describe how hard it was … it was treacherous,” Keeshond told WAVY.com
But hard work pays off. He will be studying computer science at Norfolk State in the fall and mom has no worries at all.
“At first, yes, but after going over and speaking with admissions counselors a Norfolk State, you know they have a mentoring program, so it’s not like he’s going to be just thrown out.”
He’ll be living at home. He says his only concern now is graduation, “So walking across the stage will be the most nervous, where I’m most nervous and then I might get a bit embarrassed by my family.”
After what he’s accomplished, who knows what they will do, mom says.
“I think we’re going to have a pretty good time.”
Keeshond plans to slow down a bit now and enjoy college.
He says he thinks he’ll finish in four years.