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By: Jair McElveen

Striving for the best, this week’s high school senior spotlight is the Bladen Early College High School’s class of 2024 Valedictorian, Riley McIntyre.

Riley McIntyre is a passionate and driven scholar who started early at Clarkton School of Discovery in the Project Challenged Program. There, he was able to take foundational high school classes as an eighth grader, and ever since then, he has soared. After being accepted and enrolling in Bladen Early College High School, he jumped right into his school, where he took simultaneously high school and college courses. As a result of McIntyre’s hard work, he obtained all of the credit hours to graduate with a diploma and two associate degrees by the end of his junior year. Still, he decided to stay to further his education. Uncovering his appreciation for technology, this year, he took a course for a certificate in electrical systems and enjoyed it. He says that because of the many opportunities Bladen Early College High School offers, attending has allowed him to explore and discover his interests.

In the fall, Riley plans to attend Campbell University, joining the School of Engineering with a concentration in electrical and mechanical engineering. He hopes to get an internship by his junior year so he can have some experience before fully entering the workforce. McIntyre finds the power and production of robots extremely fascinating. His ultimate goal is to become “a person who programs or designs robots for automation.”

While Campbell does have a more petite student body than other universities, McIntyre states that his biggest challenge would be the growth in class size compared to his classes at Bladen Early College High School. He believes that with time, he will get used to it, but when it comes to academics, he feels more prepared than ever, and that is because of Bladen Early College High School. “It (Bladen Early College High School) helps you get experience with how college works and prepares students for college transfer.”

Outside of McIntyre’s academia, he participates in many clubs like the National Beta Club, Science Olympiad, Juntos, and Yearbook.

When asked about his high school years, McIntyre quickly replied, “I could not ask for a better one.”

In just a couple of weeks, Riley McIntyre will be graduating from Bladen Early College High School with his high school diploma, an associate degree in arts, an associate degree in science, and many certificates in his back pocket.

As for advice for underclassmen and freshmen, McIntyre says, “Do your best, do what you think is right, and try out new things.”

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