For Immediate Release
July 13, 2020


New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-0448 |

Laconia student sees double-layer opportunity: Diploma and a college degree

laconia daily sun logo


By Roberta Baker

LACONIA — Homemade chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cakes are Victoria Abate’s hobby, as well as her favorite school project. But it was her pumpkin cakes that whet the most appetites at last fall’s Pumpkinfest, earning the festival's honor of “Most Creative Dessert.”

Next month, Abate, 17, will collect another prize – one that comes with a reward that pays dividends into the future: She’ll be one of the first 12 students statewide to matriculate at New Hampshire Career Academy, a pilot program designed by the state’s Department of Education in 2019 that will enable the rising senior to graduate in two years with a high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree for free. She'll also have a guaranteed job interview, without having to sift through listings online with the hope of snagging the right match.

Starting at the end of August, Abate will study culinary arts at Lakes Region Community College – a pursuit that matches her passion, nurtured during sophomore and junior year at the Huot Technical Education Center, but planted when she was a toddler.

“I’ve always had an interest in baking since I was two years old, and my father taught me how to bake cookies," Abate said. "I’ve had this interest since I was able to stand up. It’s kind of a stress release for me, and it’s a good way to be creative.”

photo of victoria abate baking

Victoria Abate prepares to bake a cake
at her home in Laconia.
(Roger Carroll/The Laconia Daily Sun photo)

Read the rest of the story in the Laconia Daily Sun.