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The LEAP Student Blog

Anson Huang, Renton HS: "Life as a Running Start Student"

Author: Anson Huang
Grade: Senior
School: Renton
Mascot: Indians
League: South Puget Sound
Classification: 2A

Life as a Running Start Student

Here in Washington state, we have a dual enrollment program called Running Start. Basically, starting their junior or senior year, high school students can choose to enroll in classes at a nearby community college and earn college credit while still in high school without having to pay for tuition. They can then use these credits and transfer them to an in-state university or continue their studies at the community college, helping them save two years of tuition money if planned correctly. This gives students a Running Start in their post-secondary life.

The financial benefit, and the personal and educational challenge of this program is what drives many students to choose this path over the traditional 4-year high school curriculum. However, it does come with some cons. Since you won’t be attending your high school full time, it makes it difficult to stay in touch with friends who’ve stayed. Even if a lot of your friends do Running Start with you, you may not see them at all unless you take the same classes. Additionally, you can’t participate in spirit days. There’s no meme day, no pajama day, no color wars; Just driving to school, taking notes, and going home.

While some do Running Start for the above purpose, some do it due to time constraints. Khai Brisco – a senior at Renton – plays for the Seattle Sounders Academy. Throughout high school, he has been travelling both nationally and internationally for  soccer games and has even represented the U.S. multiple times. His soccer career makes it so that he occasionally must miss school, weeks at a time in order to play. This led him to enroll in Running Start so that he could plan his classes according to his own schedule, allowing him to excel in both.

So how can one stay involved? It may sound difficult considering Running Start students aren’t at their high schools all the time, but it really isn’t. It simply just comes down to making the commitment to stay involved – just like any other student. Many who do Running Start often finish class and go back to their schools as the President of Key Club, the captain of the soccer team, or a performer for drama club – maybe even all three! The flexibility of being able to create your own schedule gives students a lot more time in their day to pursue and explore their passions within their high schools. In fact, this extra time may even encourage them to be even more involved! At Renton High, we have plenty of opportunities for all students to be involved. From competitive sports, and insightful and engaging clubs, to our annual multicultural show, where our school’s diversity is celebrated in a beautiful display of cultures from around the globe, there is always something to do in our neighborhood.


March 2019

3/25/2019 Marte Borgmann, Garfield HS: "The Power of Diversity"
3/5/2019 Anson Huang, Renton HS: "Life as a Running Start Student"

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