(Fairmont, MN) – A Fairmont High School senior with big ambitions will the first in the state to achieve a feat that required hard work and dedication.

Melinda Kassandra Lopez is set to become the first dual graduate high school student in Minnesota.

Lopez is currently finishing up her final semester of nursing school and will graduate with her associate’s degree in nursing in May 2019.  In June, Lopez will receive her high school diploma.  She’ll also take her registered nursing board exams.

That will make her the first Minnesota high school student to graduate as a registered nurse, according to Minnesota West Community and Technical College.  Lopez started a post-secondary enrollment option at the college as a 17-year-old sophomore.

Lopez doesn’t just sit and study for nursing boards, however.  She’s currently taking nine online college classes.  The now 18-year-old is also serving her second term as the Student Senate President and is president of the campus Phi Theta Kappa Chapter at the college.

Lopez said she knew by the age of 4 that she wanted to work in the medical field.  She will continue to work towards becoming an obstetric pediatric surgical gynecologist, and said her goal is to do her residency at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Even as she plans to complete her education elsewhere around the county, Lopez’s heart remains at home.  “I do have three younger siblings aspiring to be physicians as well.  We look forward to creating our own private-owned hospital to bring back to southern Minnesota and help our community through healthcare,” she told SMN.

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