San Jacinto College Early College High School student Imaad Ali.

As Imaad Ali completed his senior year, he graduated with his high school diploma, a college degree, and an ambitious outlook on life.

Ali enrolled in San Jacinto College’s Early College High School program on the South Campus through Dobie High School.

“When I first heard about early college, I thought it wouldn’t be for me,” he said. “But as my parents and I learned more about it, it seemed like a great deal. My tuition and books are paid, and I’m getting a head start before I enroll at a university.”

San Jacinto College Early College High School student Imaad Ali

Imaad Ali

The Early College High School initiative is an open-enrollment four-year program that blends college and high school coursework, enabling students to earn up to two years of college credit tuition-free while enrolled in high school. This program serves Clear Creek, Galena Park, Pasadena, and Sheldon independent school districts, with eight high school campuses represented.

“I feel like early college gave me a training ground for what life will be like at a university,” said Ali. “I’ll be two years ahead of everyone else once I transfer.”

During Ali’s upbringing, his parents held education in high regard.

“My parents immigrated from Pakistan in the early 2000s,” said Ali. “They were always worried about my future and college. My mom was a tutor in Pakistan, and she pushed me to be the best that I can. I enjoy school and learning. I get that from her.”

Ali took his role as college student seriously, joining Phi Theta Kappa and the student government association. In fall 2023, Ali took on the responsibility of SGA president for the South Campus.

“After joining PTK, I learned about all the community service they do,” said Ali. “It encouraged me to do more. I started as the SGA secretary, then ran for president uncontested. As the president, I represented the student body and their needs.”

As a business major, Ali took accounting and economics classes along with his basic courses. He hopes to transfer to Texas Tech University to pursue a dual degree in business and architecture.

“I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me after San Jac,” said Ali. “I know I’ve got a good foundation to build on.” 

By Melissa Trevizo