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When Alfred R. Ripoll IV, a New Orleans high school student, learned he could earn college credits from Delgado Community College, he could not wait to sign up.

“I was excited to be able to take a college-level course in a subject I like and earn credits towards my first year in college,” Ripoll said. “I saw my big brother Neal Hamilton III (St. Augustine High School 2020 valedictorian) receive his associate’s degree from Delgado and I wanted to be put on that same path to be ahead in college.”

Ripoll graduated in May as valedictorian from St. Augustine High School, a college preparatory school for young men in grades 8-12 founded in 1951 by the Josephite priests and brothers.

His brother Neal Hamilton III was the first student at “St. Aug” to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Delgado Community College.

“This unique opportunity with Delgado Community College has a long history of providing opportunities for high school students to gain college credit as they work to complete their high school diplomas and advance their long-term goals,” said Michelle Keelen, senior counselor at St. Augustine.

“I enrolled in seven courses at Delgado,” Ripoll said. “They included statistics, computer science, and art history. Taking college courses along with high school courses was an adjustment. But once I got the hang of it. It was pretty easy.”

Ripoll will be attending Princeton University in the fall, where he will major in computer science and engineering. He was a student ambassador at St. Augustine and a member of the track team, baseball team, the STEM Club, Campus Ministry, and Future Business Leaders of America.

Through the St. Augustine Dual Enrollment program, Ripoll enrolled in college-level courses beginning during his freshman year and earned 21 credits to apply towards his bachelor’s degree. He received recognition from the College Board for excellence in academic achievement. He is a proud third-generation Purple Knight.

A recipient of the 2021 Dr. Percy A. Pierre Engineering Scholarship Award, Ripoll is also a member of the National Black Society of Engineers Junior Club. Additionally, he is the inaugural recipient of the Keith E. Butler Ivy League Award, which will support a portion of Alfred’s expenses as he enters Princeton University.

The Dual Enrollment program at Delgado Community College is for high school students interested in exploring a career path or earning transferable college credits. The program is open to high school sophomores, juniors or seniors with a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Tuition is $35 per credit hour, and students can enroll for up to nine hours per semester. TOPS Tech awards may be used.