Medina student earns college degree, a month before graduating from high school

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 24 May 2021 at 1:14 pm

Photos by Alicia Vanderwalker: FaithAnn Vanderwalker, a senior at Medina High School, celebrates her graduation this past weekend from Genesee Community College by throwing her cap in the air.

MEDINA – FaithAnn Vanderwalker has achieved an honor rarely attained by youth her age. She has graduated from college before she finished high school.

FaithAnn, a daughter of Todd and Alicia Vanderwalker of Stone Road, graduated this weekend from Genesee Community College with a degree in liberal arts and natural sciences, a month before she will graduate from Medina High School as valedictorian.

Her future plans include attending the State University of New York School of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse to major in wildlife biology and environmental science.

FaithAnn earned more than 90 college credits during the last four years of high school. She was a member of the Advanced College Studies ACE class, where she began her college journey while in Middle School, after being nominated for the two-year math/science prep program, according to her mother Alicia. FaithAnn attended college classes concurrently while enrolled in advanced classes at Medina High School.

In addition, FaithAnn was on the Provost List for having a GPA at the college of higher than 3.75, and was part of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Along with her extra courseload during the past six years, she participated in the Medina Mustang Marching Band and is a three-sport athlete.

In sixth grade, FaithAnn won first place in the Math Science Prep Science Fair during her enrollment process for college. More than 200 students from the GLOW region were nominated for the program and they then needed to apply and complete knowledge tests in math. Only the top 50 made it into the program and went on to compete in the science fair.

FaithAnn Vanderwalker

FaithAnn is also very involved in her church and youth group, with whom she has gone on two mission trips to Mexico, where they are helping to build an orphanage. In her free time, FaithAnn has chickens, goats and a large garden. She loves the outdoors and is currently working on hiking the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. She has won first place in the 90-mile Adirondack Canoe Classic with her dad.

“FaithAnn gives her all to everything she has done and has made her family, school, church and community so proud of her,” her mother said.