At 28 years old, Saxon Metzger already has an impressive resume. He’s working for a company helping to build solar power projects and make them more sustainable, while also teaching graduate-level courses in business and economics.

Metzger says he was set on his path to success while earning an Associate of Arts in Social and Behavioral Science degree at Palomar College in 2012.  He received the degree when he was 17 years old before he earned his high school diploma.

“Palomar College gave me the encouragement and support to try new things,” Metzger said. “It taught me that that this was a healthy and positive perspective to have. I was always provided the tools to succeed.”

Metzger now lives in San Luis Obispo and works as a Solar Project Development Manager for NuLife Power Services. While helping build new systems, Metzger’s company takes solar systems that are aging out or need to be taken down and make sure that the construction waste is handled appropriately or finds new life on another project.

He also teaches courses in sustainable business, global marketing, and economics through Wilmington University, a Delaware-based school where he earned a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in sustainability. He attended Wilmington after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Utah.

Metzger’s higher education began when he was just 12 years old. As an independent study student in middle and high school, Metzger began taking courses at Palomar College the summer after he finished sixth grade. He said he enjoyed taking college courses with students many years older than him.

“It was very stimulating intellectually and exciting that there was so much that was offered,” he said. “I felt like the diversity present on campus was really important to me. There was a level of multicultural representation and appreciation.”

While at Palomar, he joined the speech and debate team. The 2011-2012 team won a slew of trophies, including gold medals for Metzger individually at the state and national competitions, as well as gold awards with his teammate in parliamentary debate.

Metzger said his experience on the debate team has made him a more confident speaker and given him a deeper understanding of how to improve his communication.

“It’s my responsibility to communicate a message that is understood,” he said.

He also attributes his involvement in sustainable business practices to his time at Palomar College.

“My love for business and economics started at Palomar,” Metzger said. “It was a place where I learned about social and environmental justice, and how those goals can be achieved in collaboration with economic development.”