Published December 25, 2016
It's taken him six years, but on May 23, 20-year-old Nikko Ramirez will become the first person in his family to graduate from high school.
A student at the Community Learning Center of Rutherford County in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Ramirez took his first high school course in 2008. Bouts of truancy caused gaps in his education, but he was determined to graduate.
Commonly called CLC, the school is a Category I private high school. It was created by special application to the state Department of Education and receives full funding from the county government. County Mayor Ernest Burgess serves as the school's superintendent.
The school was originally developed as an alternative school for at-risk teens, but most students served today don't necessarily fall in that category.