Ballard jumpstarts his future


Jerry McCauley

While attending MSHS, Ryder Ballard was involved in many activities. He led MPAC (Manitou Performing Arts Club), was involved in theatre and sang with the Chamber Choir.

Claire Kisielnicki, Editor-in-Chief

As the first semester comes to an end, seniors are getting closer to graduation. For some, that day is much much sooner.

Ryder Ballard is a senior who has made the leap to graduating early this year from Manitou Springs High School. He will be done with school on December 17, 2021 and is very excited about it.

Graduating early wasn’t something that Ballard had been planning on; but when the opportunity came about, he decided it was a good idea. “College is expensive. My parents can’t help me pay for it, so I have to pay for it myself. I’d rather go into less debt and just leave earlier to go into work full time,” Ballard said.

Ballard already has a job with a publishing company as an office assistant, and in January he will start a job at District 11 working in arts and integration.

To figure out if he could graduate early, Ballard went to his counselor Michele Mandel. “I went to my counselor to do a credit check; by the end of the semester, it showed I would have more than enough credits to graduate early.”

Ballard did not have to graduate early, but he decided that it was his best option as a way to jumpstart his future.

“I told my counselor I wanted to graduate early, and she asked me if I had a plan. Once I told her my plan, I wrote an essay about why I wanted to graduate early in detail, where I work, where I’m going to work, what school I’m going to, and the counselor signed off on it. Then I talked to Mr. Hull, showed him my essay, and he signed off too,” Ballard said.

While Ballard is working, he will continue to perform with the Millibo Art Theatre. He is very passionate about theatre and the arts and is hoping to minor in Music Theatre in college. Ballard will be attending CSU Fort Collins and wants to major in Psychology.

Ballard has advice to any students hoping to graduate early. “Don’t make it so last minute, double up on English courses and make sure that you are ready and have a plan, because if you don’t, they won’t say yes.”