15-year-old graduates early from Madison Heights high school despite pandemic challenges

Teen uses virtual program Edmentum, says friend’s death pushed her to finish

15-year-old gets high school diploma in Madison Heights

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – At just 15 years old, a Madison Heights teenager received her high school diploma on Monday.

Like every other student, Alysa Vasseur started virtual learning during her sophomore year at Lamphere High School. In just weeks, it became clear it wasn’t working for her.

“I kept falling asleep during my zoom classes, and they just weren’t going fast enough for me,” Alysa said.

The high school gave her another option, Edmentum. It’s a program where she could go to school online whenever and at her own pace.

“I’ve started this program in 10th grade, so I had all of my 10th grade classes but when I had completed all my 10th grade classes, all of them were on my dashboard at once, then you would get into like the 11th grade classes,” she said. “Everything you get, you do at your own pace the assignments, the classes ... You have to have a advisor to unlock tests and other classes for you, which I did have that, but other than that it’s really just a self paced online school.”

With classes at her fingertips, she took her virtual learning to the next level.

“Sometimes I just stayed up all night. Other times I was doing homework for 12 hours a day just to get it done,” Alysa said.

Before she knew it, she was on a fast track to graduation.

While the pandemic is what started this virtual journey, she said it was the tragic death of her close friend Daisia in February that helped her finish.

“I had already started the program before she had passed, and then my sister had got the call -- or she found out somehow -- that she had died and told me ... That kind of motivated me to finish what she never could for her,” Alysa said.

She plans to go to Oakland Community College and eventually get a degree in forensic science.

The pandemic was the high school’s first time offering the option to use Edmentum.

More: Oakland County news

Alysa with close friend Dasia, who was killed in a shooting February 2021. (WDIV)

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.