One Jim Thorpe senior is graduating this year with a little more than a high school diploma.
Sage Hukka will be taking almost 50 college credits with her as she leaves Jim Thorpe, thanks to an honors program the high school offers in conjunction with Lehigh Carbon Community College. And she's the first Jim Thorpe student to do so.
"To me, it's just an opportunity. It's what you do to get ahead in life and be a successful person," said Hukka.
Sage has always loved to learn, so it's no surprise she decided to start doing so at the college level before leaving high school.
"I felt really prepared and like it just the right thing for me to do," said Hukka.
70 to 80 Jim Thorpe students take some combination of dual enrollment courses each year. But Sage is the first in the program's 20-year history to spend her entire senior year as a full-time college student.
"Sage was an exceptional student but we hope that trickles down and encourages more students to do it because it is an inspiration to everyone," said Jim Thorpe High School principal, Tom Lesisko.
Taking ten classes on LCCC's Schnecksville campus didn't stop Sage from staying involved at Jim Thorpe.
"The only thing I was worried about missing out on going to LCCC was playing volleyball but Mr. Lesisko and the athletic director worked with me and let me play volleyball my senior year," said Hukka.
Off the court and out of the classroom, she's a member of National Honor Society, FBLA, Spanish Club and SADD. Through it all, her mother, Shelley, has been her biggest cheerleader.
"I couldn't be more proud, it's been amazing watching her grow as a human as well as a student," said her mom.
While Sage has started her college career at LCCC, she's still undecided on where she will continue it.
"I found Pitt and Jefferson and they both seemed like pretty good fits for me. We just have to go get on campus and feel it out and decide which one I want to go to," said Hukka.
"Her head is set. She knows what she needs to do, she's dedicated, self-motivated. She has the tools, she's ready to run wherever she goes," added Lesisko.
Sage will graduate with her fellow senior classmates on June 12th.