Shelby Simpkins, 18, of Easton was recently named 2019 Outstanding Dual Enrollment Student at Chesapeake College. The outstanding student credits her lifelong drive to excel academically for her high school accomplishments.
Ms. Simpkins said that drive took her beyond the college prep curriculum of upper level and Advanced Placement classes to the fast track for a college degree. Less than a month before her graduation from Easton High School in June, Ms. Simpkins earned an associate’s degree at Chesapeake College.
Each year, high school students across the Mid-Shore get a head start on college through Chesapeake’s Dual Enrollment program. High school juniors and seniors earn college credits in classes in offered in the schools, at the college or online.
“I wanted to do something different that would really challenge me. Knowing at the end of the semester that I had made it through a true college class was motivating for me and made me want push ahead,” she said. “Dual Enrollment gave me the chance to test myself and see how I would do in a college setting. I really enjoyed the challenge.” named to the Dean’s List each semester.
At Chesapeake, Ms. Simpkins maintained a 3.75 Grade Point Average and was with the 59 credits she is transferring from Chesapeake to Salisbury University, Ms. Simpkins could potentially finish her bachelor’s degree when she is just 20 years old.
That accelerated pace, she says, gives her the time to earn additional emergency certifications and eventually a master’s degree. She plans to major in nursing at SU, and hopes to be a shock trauma nurse in the future.
“I’ve always enjoyed helping people. It’s amazing to see how medical technology and skill can bring someone back from their lowest point to a full recovery,”Ms. Simpkins said. “I knew that I wanted to make a career of helping people.”
Ms. Simpkins volunteers with Talbot Hospice and earned nearly 200 service learning hours. She holds two jobs, including a file clerk position at an Easton law firm. She is a member of National Honor Society and the Key Club. As a student at EHS, Ms. Simpkins also participated in the Unified Bocce Ball team.
“From day one, Shelby was a focused, determined young lady with a definite plan. She is hard working, organized and mature beyond her years,” said Easton High School Guidance Counselor Debra McQuaid. “Shelby will excel in any career she pursues. She was a delight to work with. I’d wish her luck, but she doesn’t need any.”
In addition to her academic achievements, Ms. Simpkins has also earned accolades as Miss Easton Fire Prevention, Miss Maryland Fire Prevention and Miss DelMarVa Fire Prevention.