CENTER LINE — Center Line High School 2013 graduate Lucas Richardson is known to be “driven.”
“He sees it and he wants to jump at it and go,” his dad Robert Richardson said. “Some kids are like a sponge for education. That’s him. He just wants to learn, learn, learn.”
With such a strong desire to study and enough credits under his books, Lucas shaved one year off of his high school career to graduate this year. He was scheduled to graduate in 2014 based on his years with Center Line Public Schools, but with enough requirements already completed, he graduated at age 16 with the class of 2013.
“It is unusual to graduate at 16. Most students graduate at 17 or 18,” said CLHS Principal John Summerhill. “Lucas is a kind and helpful student. He was a pleasure to have in the building, and he was a model Center Line student.”
Because Richardson finished one year early, approval from school officials was necessary. The CLHS Class of 2013 commencement ceremony was scheduled for June 7 at Bethesda Christian Church in Sterling Heights, after the Warren Weekly went to press.
At the beginning of the 2012-13 school year, Richardson realized he already had 18 credits after his freshman and sophomore years. Needing 25.5 credits to graduate, Richardson began thinking about trying to finish school his junior year.
He did, and the achievement gave him a feeling of accomplishment.
“I did something a lot of people say they want to do but don’t do,” he said. “I wanted to do the extra work.”
Richardson moved ahead in his academics to earn senior status this year by enrolling in the school’s e2020 program for extra credit. He also enrolled in a general chemistry class at Macomb Community College through a dual enrollment agreement.
“You might as well take the extra steps,” said Richardson, adding attending MCC “was a pretty fun experience. The people there are much quieter. No one was talking during class. You let the instructor instruct.”
But there were times when he felt “a lot of stress” with so many classes, including calculus at CLHS. But he persevered. Even with such a tight schedule, Richardson still had time to play trombone in the CLHS band. He called his involvement “quite a blast and an enjoyable experience.” And his induction into the National Honor Society last year was a thrill.
“That was a unique surprise,” he said.
Volunteering is a requirement of the NHS. So Richardson focused his time on tutoring others, including a handful of Peck Elementary kids and several students at CLHS.
Since math and science has always intrigued Richardson, he’s thinking of studying chemistry when he begins Marygrove College in Detroit.
“I’m so interested in finding out what everything is about,” Richardson said. “Science can explain why the sun is in the sky and why a television is the way it is.”
Richardson would like to become a laboratory assistant and then enroll in medical school. He’d like to eventually work in orthopedics.
“It will allow me to help people,” Richardson said.
“His quest for knowledge is to be commended a lot,” his dad said. “I’m really proud of him. Just to see him get this accomplishment out of the way is a good thing.”
The Richardson family includes mom Mary, and older brothers Zachary and Jason.