[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/06/art.chase.abrams.jpg
caption="Chase Abrams, 18, finished high school and college at the same time."]
To pull 18-hour days for four years and live to smile about it must mean you’re on a mission of your own choosing. And, that Chase Abrams was. His mission: complete high school and college at the same time.
“I didn’t have a lot of support at my high school, but it just made me more hungry,” Chase, 18, tells me. That hunger got him up at 5 a.m. to get to the gym during football season, then back at 6:30 a.m. to take his sister to school, then to his high school campus from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Insistent on having a “normal life,” he had football practice from 3:30-4:30 p.m., then fought Los Angeles rush hour to get to his college classes at Cal State University, Los Angeles from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., getting back home at 11 p.m. to get to bed to start it all again. A few weeks ago, it paid off when he walked across two stages, holding two diplomas. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” Chase says, knowing that the time he spent pulling double-duty will save his family money in the long-run.
Don’t call him “Doogie” yet. He chuckles at the comparison, but is rather intrigued by it. While most of his friends are going to four-year colleges, “I’m thinking about medical school,” he says focusing on the next mission.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview