Before even becoming a teenager, Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis made academic history in Canada.
CBC reports that the 12-year-old has received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Ottawa — making her Canada’s youngest university graduate. Dennis began working toward earning her bachelor’s at age 9.
“I’ve always been really inspired to try and make a difference somehow so that’s how I got interested in biomedical science,” Dennis told the outlet.
“I’m very proud of myself as well,” she continued. “And I’m excited for what’s going to come next in my academic journey and my academic career. And I’m just really hopeful for what the future will bring.”
Although Dennis is elated by her achievement, she recalled there being a time during her journey when she came across doubters and naysayers.
“I remember one of the big things was people unbelieving and did not believe that a person like me could ever possibly exist, which was strange to me because I always read these articles about kids who were smart and they were going to take university credits,” she said, according to the report. “There will always be challenges, barriers, and roadblocks but there is probably a place if you’re willing to look hard enough where you can get around that roadblock or that barrier.”
This year’s graduation season has been a historic one for the books!
As AfroTech previously told you, Alecia Washington became the first Black valedictorian at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, N.C., in its 100-year history.
“This is so much bigger than me, like representation matters,” Washington shared with WXII Channel 12, an NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem. “I know that’s important. I know from experience, representation definitely matters. When you see somebody that looks like you, and something you want to do, or passionate about, it makes a huge difference. It’s not something I take lightly at all.”
Along with her high school diploma, Washington earned an associate’s degree from Forsyth Technical Community College. The high school graduate is set to attend the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, where she will study to become a pediatric nurse anesthetist.