Local 15-year-old valedictorian graduates high school, college

Montcalm County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Voca Ford is 15 years old, but she’s no stranger to the students graduating with her from Tri County High School.

“Started high school when I was 11 and turned 12 shortly after,” said Ford, who is one of four valedictorians graduating from the school in Montcalm County.

Ford blazed through school right from the get-go.

“When I was in kindergarten, I took third grade reading,” Ford said. “When I was in sixth grade, I took algebra, which is technically a freshman course.”

She’s also a big fan of music.

“I also help teach at the middle school for middle school band classes,” Ford said.

Ford, who participates in various musical extracurricular activities, stepped in to cover for a middle school teacher who couldn’t teach in-person because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s cool from my perspective,” Ford said. “Students respect me, which is great. Most of them anyway.”

Ford is graduating from high school with a 3.99 GPA. She’s sporting a cap and gown for the second time in a month.

“I got my associate’s (degree from Grand Rapids Community College) in general studies on April 30,” Ford said.

Ford is looking to head east and challenge herself at a prestigious university.

“I would love to go to New York University or Columbia or Dartmouth, you know, lots of big schools,” Ford said. “Lots of Ivy’s.”

Ford’s long-term goal is to become a psychiatrist. She plans on doing an externship at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York.

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