Her plan to get there included lots of Advanced Placement classes — she took 16 in all — but also lots of online dual enrollment classes both junior and senior years and the summer in between. She took classes at UCF but also at Valencia College, the University of Florida, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.

Initially, Mariana did not intend to complete a bachelor’s degree but when her UCF counselor mentioned she was close to completing one, she went for it.

Her spring semester of 11th grade, when she had six classes on campus, and nine college classes online was the toughest, she said.

And that worried her guidance counselor, who checked in then with Lynda Nijensohn to make sure Mariana was handling the workload.

“Her schedule from just her junior year alone, oh my goodness, I can’t see another kid doing this,” Granberry said.

One of the biggest challenges was keeping track of all her assignments, which at one point required checking seven online platforms. Her mother helped create a color-coded Excel spreadsheet that tracked all the work in one place and made completed assignments — there were more than 1,000 — vanish.

Mariana, who loves the work of poet Sylvia Plath, said her accomplishment was possible because she pursued English, a degree that did not have a tightly set course progression.

“You can’t do this if you’re a math person or a science person,” she said.

UCF invited her to the May 3 commencement, though technically it cannot confer her degree until she earns her high school diploma and Windermere can send her final transcripts.

“It was actually really cool,” she said of the UCF ceremony. “It kind of hit me. I got it. I did it.”

A UCF dean also attended Windermere’s senior awards ceremony to present Mariana with a UCF graduation stole and recognize her unusual achievement.

“That was very touching,” Lynda Nijensohn said.

Both Mariana and her mother said they were impressed with the dual enrollment options available to Florida high school students, free of charge, whether they want to pursue academic classes or career-focused ones.

Her UCF degree is “an anomaly, but I’m not some genius” Mariana said, and Florida’s dual enrollment offerings can help lots of students.

“They have more opportunities than they think,” she added.