Chicago teen genius Dorothy Jean Tillman has always excelled. At eight-months-old, she began talking, and by age four, she was doing math. Now, at 14, the STEM-focused teen has earned a master’s degree in sustainable science and environmental planning reports Rolling Out.
In an interview, Tillman says she began her college career after completing her high school courses at nine-years-old.
“I was finishing up high school courses and starting with my associates, and I got that [degree] when I was about to turn 11,” she said. “Moving on from there, since a lot of the associate course hours count for your bachelor’s, I had a good head start when I started my bachelor’s. By the time I was 12, I had my bachelor’s in humanities.”
Looking ahead toward a bright future, Tillman dreams to open a STEM lab for kids. She’s also considering continuing her education to further her career in engineering.
“I love helping kids have bright futures. I’m here to make people happy and to help people find their purpose,” she said. “I might go back to school, but my plan is to be an entrepreneur and [use] my engineering degree.”
As she is rightfully celebrated for her accomplishments, she is lending some words of advice to fellow students. This week, the young prodigy gave a commencement speech for “Graduate Together,” a virtual event honoring the 2020 high school graduating class executively produced by LeBron James.
“I’m excited about what is to come in the peer group that I have to work with moving forward in the future,” she posted to Instagram. “We have endured a lot as a collective, but we will be more resilient than ever!”
As she awaits her fall ceremony, the “Jeanius” is currently raising money for a book and speaking tour for “Unlock The Jeanius Within,” a forthcoming curated series of stories from over 20 leaders who inspire and encourage the youth.