West Jefferson HS student graduates with a year of college credits

Truman Place, a West Jefferson Class of 2020 graduate, is walking away from high school with 30 college credits, a full year’s worth of classes.

Truman Place, son of Tara and Justin Place, is a graduate of the West Jefferson High School class of 2020. He plans to attend College of Eastern Idaho and gain his Associate’s degree before hopefully transferring to Idaho State University to study accounting.

Place already has 30 college credits though, putting him a full year ahead of the game.

“I looked at schooling thought hard about why I was there,” Place said. “I thought about the things that would help me most in the future and I wanted to be focused and prepared.”

Although he said it was a lot harder than he expected, Place thinks it paid off to be able to save money on his college education.

While working to fulfill his high school requirements and rack up the college credits, Place said it took serious dedication to meet his goals.

“I remember on an American Heritage trip, I spent some nights working on paperwork and logistics for another camp I wanted to go to that would earn me two college credits while everyone else was out having fun,” Place said.

According to Julie Hall from West Jefferson High, Place took an Emergency Medical Technician course, which earned him ten credits, a certification in Basic Life Management, phlebotomy certification and life saving skills.

“Surprisingly, the EMT course was my favorite,” Place said. “I’m not going into healthcare but I knew this knowledge could help me in the future. Everyday in class I could see the importance of what I was learning and everything had a purpose.”

Place said calculus helped him the most in realizing what direction he wanted to go with his career.

“I thought I wanted to do mechanical engineering but I wasn’t good at calculus,” he said. “I looked into accounting and I think I kind of have a knack for money.”

At CEI, Place said he’ll be able to gather up all his credits into an Associate’s degree, which makes it easier to transfer to another college. Since CEI is nearby and less expensive, Place said he’ll be saving even more money on college in addition to all the requirements he’s already completed.

In the next five years, Place hopes to just have a stable foothold to get life started.

“The biggest thing in terms of advice is just the idea that people need to prioritize learning and go after what they want,” he said. “The big thing that helped me was looking at not what would be the most fun, but what would benefit me the most in the future.”

Place said that if people looked at schooling as the hardest thing they ever do, they’ll prioritize it and if it isn’t the hardest thing they ever do, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

According to Place, “You just gotta look at the big picture.”