Meet The 12-Year-Old Who Has Graduated From College With Her Second Degree

Posted On : 07/18/2018

When I was 12, I was lusting after B2K and trying to get away with the minimum about of homework possible.

But for 12-year-old Dorothy Jean “DJ” Tillman homework is a fun part of a day. In fact she loves homework so much, the work she started to receive simply became ‘boring.’

“School wasn’t as fun anymore. It wasn’t as fast-paced,” she says.

So Tillman set her sights a little higher. Now the clever young girl has graduated college with her second degree.

DJ earned her bachelor’s degree Friday, July 13, from upstate New York’s Excelsior College, according to News 10

Her Child Care Provider Noticed Her Potential


It all started a few years ago, when DJ began learning math faster than her peers.

“My child care provider, Miss Mary, first noticed, she said, ‘You got a special baby that you need to understand that this baby been here before,” her mom, Jemelita, said. “Dorothy, I believe, started doing double digits by four or three, and we were really excited about the way she loved learning.”  

Before successfully gaining her first bachelor’s, DJ had already earned her associate’s degree.

The future is limitless for the proud graduate as she looks forward to earning her master’s in environmental engineering.

“In our culture, intellectualism is an academic achievement that has been diminished over time, and I think it’s incredibly important, particularly at a time when there are questions about the value of a higher education,” her mother added.

She Wants To Help People

“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,” DJ said.

DJ’s mom, who raised her daughter in the the South Side of Chicago, says her daughter overcame great odds to achieve what she has. 

“There are some great things coming out of the South Side of Chicago and this, my baby, is one of the greatest of them all.”

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