Student Digs into Her Education

by ELIZABETH MASON

February 19, 2009

Test tubes, DNA, a high school diploma and working for the FBI are just a few future goals for Morgan, a 16-year-old TTUISD student from Lubbock. It's never too early to start planning for the future, and Morgan knows exactly what she wants to do. She plans to earn a doctorate degree in forensic pathology and work for the FBI on their Crime Scene Investigation Unit.

Morgan's father is a private investigator and from a young age she always wanted to be involved in his investigative work. She said she would sometimes ride in the back of his car and videotape whatever they were looking for. "I've always had fun helping my dad with different things, but I've had a real interest in forensics for the past two years," she said. That's what started her looking for a more flexible way to earn her high school diploma.

When Morgan finished her middle school years, she found herself looking for more time to devote to science-related activities. After trying many different schooling options, she was looking for an option that would give her an advanced education, as well as the flexibility she needed to pursue forensics.

TTUISD was exactly what she was looking for. "It's very challenging and I had some trouble with it at first, but coming from a homeschooling background helped make the transition to TTUISD a little easier," Morgan said, "I've learned how to figure things out on my own instead of relying on the help of others."

"In TTUISD I know I'm learning. I can sit down, without distractions, write what I want, and I have the freedom to get creative," Morgan said. "I like these classes because even though they're hard and the teacher's grade critically, it is preparing me for college. I also like that there is no limit to how many classes I can take. If I really persevere I could take ten classes at a time."

In July of 2008, Morgan had a special opportunity to visit The Body Farm. She and her father joined a group of forensic students from Texas Tech. "It was so cool to see. I Morgan even got to map out the crime scene," Morgan said. The Body Farm is a hands-on experience for forensic students to practice searching a crime scene and examining their findings.

"Getting to help in different aspects of my dad's company is something I'm very proud of because I now have credibility. I know what I'm talking about," she said. "I know a lot of people that I would have never known before. I've been lucky to meet people like U.S. Marshalls, FBI agents, and a woman Texas Ranger. I'm hoping these opportunities will set me apart when I apply for college and they'll see that I'm serious about it."

With only a few years of high school left to go, Morgan has high hopes for her future. She hopes to attend the University of Massachusetts in Boston. "I would love to be involved in their forensics program," Morgan said. "I want to get the best academic education that I can. U Mass has a great forensic department and I'm already looking into ways I can qualify for scholarships." She hopes to eventually receive her doctorate degree in forensic pathology and then, "move somewhere where crime happens, like Miami or New York and work for the FBI," she said. "I want to be able to experience new things and get creative!"

TTUISD has not only allowed Morgan to pursue the things she loves, it has also allowed their family to spend more time together. She is very close to her three sisters and they really enjoy doing lots of things together. Her family attends Raintree Christian Church where they have become very involved.


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