Rafiat, 19, says that five years from now, she hopes to be “heading into my first year of getting my master’s degree.” She hasn’t always been as committed to education, Youth Communication reports. After several years of cutting school, she moved to Texas, caught up, and is now finishing her final semester in Brooklyn, New York. She will graduate in June. Matthew, 21, fell behind in school, but caught up just in time. The age limit for New York high school students is 21, and Matthew will graduate in June. He hopes to become a chef, a lawyer, or a child psychologist. Alexis, 19, dropped out of high school when his daughter, who is now 1½, was born. He eventually re-enrolled in a transfer school and graduated in March. He plans to go into business management. Marco, 17, wants “to do aerospace engineering and study propulsion systems” in college. If he doesn’t sound to you like someone who hates academics, you’re right. Marco’s obstacle is that he hasn’t felt challenged enough in school. Marco is graduating on time, in June, but says he wishes he’d had more opportunities to, for example, take AP classes and electives during high school…

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staff and wire services reports