Remarkable teen set to graduate CSU at 14 years old - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Remarkable teen set to graduate CSU at 14 years old

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Thessalonika Arzu Embry (pictured left center) with family Thessalonika Arzu Embry (pictured left center) with family

While most 14 year olds are focusing on their freshman year of high school, a north suburban teen is on the fast track in college.

It all started at the Great Lakes home for Thessalonika Arzu Embry. She was home-schooled since four years old, by 11 she was attending community college and two years ago she enrolled in Chicago State University.

"I hope this story inspires other people," said Thessalonika Arzu Embry.

She's front page news on The Daily Herald at 14 years old.

"I'm graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology," said Embry.

Wearing a cap, gown and a bright smile, Thessalonika Arzu Embry is not old enough to vote or drive but she is gearing up to graduate from Chicago State University.

"I started college at College of Lake County when I was 11 years old in September of 2010 and I continued a full course load and I'm almost finished now," said Embry.

In her first television interview, the teen describes life on campus.

"Everyone has the same goal of learning and to complete their education… Most of my professors weren't aware of my age because I didn't want to bring too much attention and also I didn't want to distract the other students," said Embry.

As for students her age, most are adjusting to high school.

"I wake up at 5:00 in the morning and my family and I read the bible and then we go exercise at a local gym and then we make the hour and a half commute to Chicago State University and I attend morning classes and after that we come back home and I study," said Embry.

Embry's brother Jeremy also attended Chicago State at an early age.

"Jeremy and Thessa, they have a very wonderful social life, their social life is very productive, they pick their friends and their friends are usually those who have goals, visions and they're going forward," said Wonder Embry.

Navy veteran Wonder Embry believes home schooling her children helped them achieve early success.

"Her college experience has been normal but it's been without the bad. She's been going to the parties, she has friends, she has activities but it's just omitted of the bad things that make people go on the wrong track," said Embry.

In a phone conversation, a spokesperson with Chicago State University says Embry, "is an impressive young lady," said Thomas Wogan, Director of Public Relations at Chicago State University. Privacy laws prevent the institution from further comment without the family's permission.

Embry is studying Psychology. She plans to graduate next month, just days after her 15th birthday.

"I plan to go to graduate school and complete a Ph.D. in psychology and open up a clinic with my family," said Embry.

Chicago State University is still researching whether Embry would be its youngest graduate. Embry says right now she has 114 credits. Chicago state says a minimum of 120 credits are required to graduate.

Not only is Embry a 14 year old attending a university, but she is also attending college with her mother.

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