Life Scout graduates from high school and Harvard weeks apart

Braxton Moral, a Life Scout with Troop 186 in Ulysses, Kan., isn’t your typical high school graduate. He walked the stage at Ulysses High School in May; a couple of weeks later, he did the same at Harvard University.

Braxton, 17, now with a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in government with a minor in English, showed signs of his future academic success early on. He skipped the fourth grade, and at age 10, his parents looked at enrolling him at a nearby public college. It wasn’t challenging enough for him.

So, he shifted his focus to Harvard’s extension school. It’s like night school, Braxton says, as it is designed for busy adults to earn degrees primarily working online and spending a short time on campus in Massachusetts. The school’s site describes its typical student as “30 years old, has previously completed one or two years of college and works full time.” Braxton was 11 when he took his first course.

Big goals

Getting into the Harvard extension school isn’t an easy task; it requires multiple exams and maintaining a high grade point average while completing three entrance courses. Braxton was up for the task and for the workload that followed.

In addition to taking high school classes and college classes from one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Braxton also made time for tennis, martial arts, debate and Scouting. During the summers, he took classes on campus at Harvard.

“I think it’s the path that I needed to take,” Braxton says. “It was best for me.”

His accomplishments have been highlighted on The Today Show, Access, CBS News, and many national and local newspapers. Having goals has guided Braxton’s achievements.

“Do what is best for you in your educational blueprint,” Braxton says. “Visualize what you want to do; a goal-oriented mindset really helps. I’ve always been goal-oriented.”

Braxton’s next goal is to earn the Eagle Scout Award. He joined as a Cub Scout and has enjoyed his time in Scouting. Recently, he and his troop trekked 50 miles by canoe in Wyoming.

“Scouting is much different than a lot of things,” Braxton says. “I get to do a lot of things I didn’t get to do in school.”

One of his favorite merit badges was Citizenship in the Nation, which has helped prepare him for his plans to apply to law school with the goal of a career in politics.

About Michael Freeman 132 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.