There’s a young student residing in Chicago, Ill., who’s on her way to academic excellence at the age of 12. According to ABC News 10, Dorothy Jean Tillman received her bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College which also graduated a 72-year-old that same day (July 13).
Nicknamed Dorothy Genius by her mother, Jemelita Tillman, the precocious student previously held an associates degree. She also plans to continue her pursuit of leveling up to a masters degree in environmental engineering, but she’ll take some time away from the classroom before she attains another diploma.
“With environmental engineering, it’s all about helping people, the environment, and that’s just what I love to do, that’s what makes me happy,” she said. Efforts to encourage students of color to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs have increased since outlets like Black Girls Code has gained awareness.
DJ’s mother noticed her daughter’s love for school when she began memorizing “double digits by four or three” and made an effort to nurture her love for learning. She also added that her child “is one of the greatest” things to come out of Chicago’s south side.
DJ reassured spectators that she still manages to sketch in time for leisure activities. “It’s not I just lock myself away from the world,” she said. “I still have friends and we go to the part and go to the movies.”