COSTA MESA — Harrison Chan, 17, and Neal Lawton, 18, might have missed out on football games, but they walked out of high school with a lot more.
The two Costa Mesa residents are on their way to UC Berkeley this month after earning their high school diploma and associate's degree at the same time — and the two were named valedictorians at both schools.
"I definitely wanted to get out ahead of the game," Chan said.
Chan and Lawton graduated in June from Newport-Mesa Unified School District's Early College High School and in May from Coastline Community College.
Early College is a joint venture between N-MUSD and Coastline that gives students the opportunity to get a high school diploma while earning an associate's or a vocational certificate, or completing two years of college credits toward a bachelor's. The school opened in August 2006.
"I can definitely say it's different from a normal school," Chan said.