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Most high school students in the United States take an average of six classes per year and graduate in four years. Karla Atcheson, a Nicholas Academic Centers’ (NAC) Class of 2014 graduate, is not like most high school students. During her freshman and sophomore years at Fullerton Union High School, Karla took seven classes, including several Honors and AP courses, and increased her academic workload to eight classes during her junior year, all while maintaining an un-weighted 3.9 GPA. Soon, she will spend what would have been her senior year in high school at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.
 
Toward the beginning of her junior year, Karla visited the NAC in downtown Santa Ana, and she decided to join.  “I was enrolled in eight classes,” Karla said, “and I found that the NAC was the best thing to happen to me when it came to managing my workload.” Monday through Thursday, Karla attended the NAC and took advantage of having access to the tutors and a place to study. “I had a goal every day to finish all of my homework by 7:00 PM (when the NAC closes), so that I could go home and have some sort of life. With the lack of distractions and the help of the tutors, I met that goal every day.”
 
Like other competitive students, Karla supplemented her academic workload with an extensive list of extracurricular activities and clubs, including the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation, the Water Polo and Swim team (until she found out she is allergic to chlorine), and Jazz Band. Karla also participated in various community service projects.
 
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