da Vinci student becomes CNA and college graduate while still in high school

da Vinci student becomes CNA and college graduate while still in high schoolBy Ryan Kryska | rkryska@mlive.com - Originally published on mlive.com

SUMMIT TWP., MI -- Four years ago, Deliah Althouse, 18, struggled to find the school that was right for her.

But that's all in the past. Because when she walks across the da Vinci High School graduation stage in late May, she'll already be a certified nursing assistant and a Jackson College alumna, having earned an associate's degree in art.

"She just is extremely hardworking," said Sandy Maxson, Superintendent at da Vinci Institute. "Organization and discipline shows up in so many ways in her life."

In Althouse's spare time, she shoots professional photos for weddings and works two jobs at Biggby Coffee and Cascades Manor House.

And when she starts school at the University of Colorado this fall, she'll be doing so with enough credits to be a junior.

"My friends think I'm crazy," Althouse said. "But it doesn't come easy, the studying of it is what makes me able to do it all."

Althouse is going to be working toward a nursing degree in Colorado, but she doesn't plan on stopping there.

"I want to work my way slowly up the health care field," she said. "I want to be a traveling nurse and maybe a medical examiner later on."

To get a headstart on her schooling, Althouse is currently working on getting a job at Henry Ford Allegiance Health with her newly acquired nursing assistant certification, which she received at the Jackson Area Career Center.

And while in Colorado, she plans on spending some "me time," too.

"I'm looking forward to the hiking and hopefully becoming a yoga teacher," Althouse said. "I do a lot of meditating. It helps with managing my time and working out what I'm going to do."

Althouse has had immense support at da Vinci, including from her mother, who is on the school board and was a part of da Vinci's first graduating class in 1996.

"It's just kind of cool that (da Vinci) is one of the places that she wanted to go," Maxson said. "It's just really exciting to see them come full circle."

Althouse has traveled all her life. Her family moved from Jackson to the Netherlands when she was 2 years old, then after a short stint in New Jersey, they came home when she was 10.

"I'm leaving everything behind," Althouse said. "I'm just excited to be starting something new."