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For Chloe Ondracek extraordinary is only part of the story

Chloe Ondracek's future is extraordinarily en pointe. So, why not Minot? The answer was obvious to Ondracek, a Minot State University freshman pursuing an undergraduate degree in mathematics. She graduated from her home schooling program this past spring with 41 dual credits, and at the age of sixteen, is one of MSU's youngest students.

"I have been homeschooled my entire life. I started taking classes at MSU while I was still in high school. As I grew more advanced in math and science, my parents recognized that I needed more challenging instruction. Dual-credit classes at MSU made perfect sense," she said.

Ondracek's high school experience with dual-credit classes gave her a unique perspective and understanding that encouraged her to pursue her undergraduate degree at MSU.

"I think one of the greatest things about MSU is the amazing connection that can be made with the faculty and staff. Sure, the small class sizes are great, but I think it's really the one-on-one you get with professors that sets MSU apart," Ondracek said. "My first professor, Carmen Fricke, was more than just an awesome college algebra teacher. She really seemed to appreciate the student I was and I appreciated her teaching methods. I have also found an incredible mentor in Dr. Narayan Thapa, who I am honored to be working with as part of an undergraduate mathematics research program."

Ondracek was born in China and adopted at fifteen months old. She has traveled all over the world with her parents, and this summer studied ballet in Russia with one of the world's premiere ballet companies.

"Ballet is a huge part of my life. I've been going consistently since I was five," she said. "I spend about fifteen hours a week in the studio. Being selected to study ballet in Russia this summer was a very prestigious honor for me and a huge accomplishment."

Despite her young age and fondness for math and science, Ondracek's spirited determination and drive to succeed is not based on any one traditional method or approach.

"Nothing has to be done the ordinary way. In fact, any way is as good as the so-called standard way," she added. "But no matter which way, always shoot for as high as possible."