We’re living in strange, difficult times. But against all odds, those in the younger generation are still doing remarkable things.
Dorothy Jean “DJ” Tillman, a 14-year-old from Chicago, has just earned a master’s degree from Unity College. That’s right — a master’s degree. The average age for a master’s student is around 30, according to information from various colleges, like The University of British Columbia. And anyone who earns a master’s degree deserves recognition. But to do it at the age of 14 is definitely an extra special achievement.
“I’m very proud of her and I’m proud of the example that she’s leaving behind,” DJ’s mom, Jimalita Tillman, told People.
Jimalita revealed that her daughter initially went to schools for gifted and talented children until it became apparent that a regular school environment wasn’t helping with her learning. So she started dual enrollment for high school courses at the age of 8, attending regular class during the day and taking online high school modules in the evening.
When DJ graduated from high school, she earned her associate’s degree in psychology from the College of Lake County at age 10 and received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Excelsior College at age 12. And in May, she completed her master’s degree in environmental science and sustainable engineering from Unity College.
Like most other class of 2020 students, DJ won’t be able to enjoy her graduation ceremony until August at the earliest, due to coronavirus-related restrictions.
“We did a little family celebration,” she told People. “It was something small and simple because we still have to respect the rules of quarantine.”
DJ’s not entirely sure what her future holds — what 14-year-old is? — but she does know she wants to be an entrepreneur.
“I want to be my own boss,” she told People. “I kind of want to be able to take everything that I’ve learned, all of my degrees, and group them into one thing. Because the way I am, I can’t stay on one project. I have to hop around to different things to make sure I stay passionate in everything equally.”
In the meantime, her book “Unlock the Jeanius Within,” a “wellness, goal-oriented” compilation, is available for pre-order.