Marquese Parker is 16 years old and an avid soccer player and fan. “I play central defense and sometimes striker for a Rockdale youth soccer association team,” the Lithonia teen says.But unlike his peers, he won’t be playing or watching soccer on Friday, May 8. That’s when Parker becomes the youngest Georgia Perimeter student to receive his associate degree at the college’s 2015 commencement ceremony to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center.A DeKalb Early College Academy student, Parker will actually be walking across the stage to receive his associate degree before he picks up his high school diploma. The high school graduation ceremony will be Friday, May 15, in a separate event at GPC.Parker may be the youngest Georgia Perimeter graduate, but he won’t be the only DECA student receiving an associate degree that day, says Kathy Henry, the academy’s coordinator. Thirty of his classmates also will receive their college diplomas that day, making the group the largest DECA graduating class in the program’s history.Parker is still trying to wrap his head around being GPC’s youngest graduate. “My mom mentioned this to me, and now I really see that it’s for real.” He says he is looking forward to continuing college—hopefully at Clayton State University where he would like to study nursing. “I really like helping people and I really enjoy chemistry; that’s really fascinating to me,” he says.Parker is among 2,058 GPC students who will receive their associate degree diplomas during GPC’s spring 2015 commencement ceremonies.