A 16 year-old Rochester student has been accepted to Bridgewater State University.  Despite some mental health setbacks, Leyla Tremblay was able to finish high school at an incredibly accelerated pace using online courses.  While Leyla's peers were working through their junior year this fall, she plowed through three years of school in an eyebrow raising 4 months.

"I busted my butt," said Tremblay.  "I'd stay up until 4 in the morning for a good two months.  During the day I'd be taking are of my brothers while my mom was at work.  Then, at night I would complete my school and stay up super late studying."

Leyla wasn't always such a dedicated student.  "I flunked my sophomore year.  I used to get all D's and F's.  I would skip classes.  I never found school important.  Back in April, I struggled with mental health issues and ended up leaving my high school before the end of my sophomore year."  If she was to return to Old Rochester Regional High School, she would have to repeat as a sophomore.

Instead, she began online courses from Penn Foster that were self paced.  Tremblay says it was not easy, but definitely worth it.  The teen soon discovered that she thrived working at her own pace without the distractions.  I'd recommend Penn Foster to anybody.

What did Leyla's mom think of her wild schedule?  Kelya says she kept her mother in the dark about it as much as possible.  She knew that the all-night studying and round the clock schedule would worry her.  "There were definitely times where she was like, 'I don't know if this is good,' but I told her that she didn't understand."  She admits her mom was definitely was concerned.

"I went through a pretty big hardship, mentally," said Tremblay.  "I was stuck in a really big hole.  After getting help, I realized that was no way to live and that I can do something about it."

Tremblay is eager to begin a career in social work.  "I love to help other people.  I knew social work was what I wanted to do, so I wanted to start as soon as possible.  I was willing to do anything to take that big step forward and achieve my goals quicker and more efficiently."

Will she miss the pomp and circumstance of her senior year in high school?  "That was one of the hardest parts of choosing to do online schooling because I'm a teenaged girl and I've honestly been dreaming of prom since I was a little girl, but mental health is such a big thing for me, and to get the chance to take care of other people is so much more important than a prom."

Tremblay will begin her freshman year at Bridgewater State next fall.  She plans on dorming with her best friend, who also plans on attending BSU.

"My hopes with sharing my story is to remind people that no matter how far down you are in a hole, you can always climb out and make the best of your situation.  I wish I heard a message like this when I was going through it, and I hope to help others by spreading positivity and inspiration."

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