Student must support himself while trying to earn degree

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Zack McDaniel works a full-time job laying tile while attending class at Clark Pleasant Academy. Scott Roberson / Daily Journal

For now, Zachary McDaniel can afford working eight to 10 hours each weekday while spending no more than an hour each night working on algebra homework — but he won’t be able to continue that pace next spring.

McDaniel, 20, works between 45 and 55 hours per week for a tile company, where he makes $12 an hour, or $18 with overtime. He’s also halfway through completing Algebra II at the Clark-Pleasant Academy, and when that course is finished, likely by the end of the spring semester, he will have earned his high school diploma.

Once McDaniel has his diploma he wants to start taking evening firefighter and EMT courses from the Central Nine Career Center. His goal is to become a paramedic, but he knows he’ll have to find a better way to balance work and his education than he did in high school.

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