Former LO resident achieves college dream at an early age

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: VAUGHN KLIER - Cassie Axtman, left, and Matt Klier celebrate their high GED scores during a recent graduation ceremony in North Dakota.High school wasn’t working out for Lake Oswego transplant Matt Klier, so he skipped it and will start college next month.

Klier left Lake Oswego High School during his freshman year in 2011 to live with his father and attend North Star High School in North Dakota. He’d been living with his mom locally, attending Lake Oswego Junior High and Forest Hills Elementary schools, but Klier missed his dad and headed to the Midwest.

Yet, wherever he went, school was a struggle. Klier has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-inattentive, a condition that makes it difficult to focus on one thing at a time, and an additional challenge is his Tourette syndrome, which causes tics and sounds he cannot control.

The young man ended up repeating his sophomore year at North Star. About halfway through the second year, school officials told him he might have to repeat his sophomore year again because his grades were so low. Another option school staff gave him was to take online classes at home.

“Why would you send a kid with ADHD home to do work by himself?” Klier said. “It didn’t seem like a good idea.”

Klier left high school and chose, without studying, to sit down at a testing facility to earn his general educational development diploma this spring.

At age 16 with no preparation, he took the GED test and scored in the top 2 percent of graduating seniors, said his mother, Dianne Gridley-Klier.

“I think it is amazing that he is so young and was able to get his GED with no preparation classes or studying and be accepted into college, which starts in August 2013,” Gridley-Klier said. “I am one proud mom.”

He received a Stellar Student Award for his scores, earning a Dell Inspiron laptop. He also received $250 for books for when he attends Lake Region State College this August in Devils Lake, N.D.

Klier, 17, plans to study engineering and dreams of being a wind turbine technician, the person who maintains the whirling wind catchers.

His advice to other students in his position is to just keep working toward what you want to do

“If there’s something you really want to do, don’t let anything stop you from doing it,” he said. “That’s what I did.”

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