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BOWLING GREEN -- Bodie Bankey received the foundation of his academic career in the comfort of his home in Bowling Green.
Home-schooled by his mother, Tammy, he accelerated quickly. By 10th grade he had an associate's degree in technical studies focusing on criminal justice from Owens Community College, where his father, Michael Bankey, is vice president of workforce and community services.
Bodie, now 18, has started toward his bachelor's degree, taking online classes at Ohio University, where he is studying criminal justice.
He expects to have a master's degree in criminal justice or college student personnel from Bowling Green State University by age 21.
Mr. Bankey's mother, who has certification in adult education, decided to home-school her son after talking with a friend who was a kindergarten teacher and had a son about the same age as hers.
"Some of the things she told me that the class was doing, I had already done with Bodie by the time he was going to start school," Mrs. Bankey said. "He was so active and I was afraid that he would be bored."
Mrs. Bankey said that after they began the home-schooling, they both liked it.
"One of the great things about being home-schooled was being able to wake up whenever I wanted," Mr. Bankey said.
"But the best part was that it was very individualized and I was able to work at my own pace, or spend more time in a specific area if I needed to."
"If I had gone to public schools, I don't think I would have been able to get as far as I have," Mr. Bankey said.
However, Mr. Bankey did enroll in one class each term for seventh and eighth grades at Bowling Green Junior High School as well as ninth and 10th grades at Bowling Green High School, to allow him to play on their football teams.
Mrs. Bankey thought that it would be a good experience for her son to go to a public school.
"That way, if he did decide he wanted to go to a public school, it was a great way to ease him into it," she said.
Having an athletic background and a passion for lifting weights, Mr. Bankey also received certification at Owens to become a personal trainer.
Mr. Bankey works at the Bowling Green Community Center, 1245 Newton Rd., and at the Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area campus of Owens Community College.
The decision to go into criminal justice was not reached until Mr. Bankey had taken a career exploration class offered at Owens.
He is considering becoming a U.S. border patrol agent.
Mrs. Bankey said that she is happy for her son in that decision and said that he will be a hard worker.
"He is only 18, but he is very responsible," Mrs. Bankey said.
Mr. Bankey said that becoming a border patrol agent involves an application process and has a year-long waiting list. Agents are also encouraged to know Spanish. Mr. Bankey has had some instruction in Spanish, giving him a head start.
"School is definitely not something I enjoy," Mr. Bankey said. "But because I have the opportunity and need to further my education someday, I figure I may as well get it out of the way now."
Contact Payton Willey at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6065.