KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While many 18 year olds are getting ready to go to college, one local teen is finishing up his first degree. But he's not the only one in his family celebrating.
Isaac Clay, who started at Metropolitan Community College at age 15, gave the commencement address Thursday for his graduating class at Municipal Auditorium.
His sister, Veronica, who started college at age 16, will give a commencement address later this week at Rockhurst University.
"This is a day where I get to brag on him," Veronica said. "He’s wearing all the gear and I’m like, 'Yeah, today is his day. I get to celebrate him and his accomplishments.'"
She credited a work ethic instilled by her parents for the siblings' success.
"Our parents always told us to work as hard as we can in school and to do our best and to pursue our desires, and here we are ...," Veronica said. "Honestly, for us, because we were a little bit bored in high school, we needed that extra challenge and also we don’t like to waste time."
It all culminated this week, starting with Isaac. He fell in love with welding in community college, a story he shared in his speech.
"I absolutely love welding," he said. "I want to get better at it. It drives me to work harder, and I enjoy it. It’s my passion; passion is how I got here. It’s how we all got here."
Veronica is set to graduate with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in leadership development.
"I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am without (Isaac), because he’s been there cheering me on," she said.
Veronica plans to take a gap year before pursuing a career in writing.
Meanwhile, Isaac is set to enter the workforce with the hope of joining the Iron Workers Union one day.