"Wake Tech's CCP program gave me a lot of opportunities that I wasn't expecting but am very grateful for. It opened the door to where I am now."
Many high school students are not ready to choose a career path, and Rachel Bramble was no exception.
"I was all over the board," Bramble says now. "I wanted to be a vet at age 12, a pilot at 14 and a nurse at 15."
She was still uncertain when she started Wake Tech's Career & College Promise (CCP) program, which offers dual enrollment to high school students.
"At the time, I really didn't see anything beyond the present," she said. "I really wasn't thinking about transferring anywhere or going to a university. I really wasn't thinking about a career. I was just floating in a space of possibility."
That started to change, Bramble says, as she progressed through classes at Wake Tech. She earned an Associate in Arts degree at the same time she completed her high school diploma, and a Wake Tech advisor suggested she apply to North Carolina State University as a transfer student. It was the only university where she applied.
"I really wasn't expecting to get accepted," she said.
But she surprised her mother – and even herself – when she received a letter of acceptance. Still uncertain about a career choice, Rachel decided to major in communications with a concentration in public relations. She earned her bachelor's degree in 2022 and went straight into graduate school for marketing analytics.
With new-found confidence, Bramble decided that a master's degree was not enough. She contacted her former Wake Tech communications professor, Dr. Jonathan Riehl, a lawyer, who advised and guided her in applying to law school.
"I was not surprised at all," Riehl said. "Rachel memorably showed an aptitude for critical thinking and understanding of argument that went far beyond what I expect even from my most dedicated students."
Bramble credits her time at Wake Tech with building her confidence and her character.
"Meeting professors like Dr. Riehl and having them push me to do well is something I definitely needed at the time," she said.
She also commends the dedication and passion of Wake Tech faculty: "Wake Tech faculty really care about whatever field they're in," she said. "In a biology class at Wake Tech, I learned from a teacher who was passionate about biology. Wake Tech professors want to be there – and they want to help students learn."
Bramble says she also made great friends at Wake Tech and enjoyed the diversity of the student body. Needless to say, she highly recommends Wake Tech's CCP program for high school students.
“It gave me a lot of opportunities that I wasn't expecting but am very grateful for," she said. "It opened the door to where I am now."
Bramble is continuing to pursue a master's degree while awaiting the results of the LSAT and law school applications. Riehl said he has no doubt she'll be successful in whatever career path she pursues.
"I have every confidence in her success in the law, if that is what she chooses to pursue, or in any other direction that education may lead her," he said. "I'm very glad that I had a small role in helping open some doors for her to consider walking through."
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