12-Year-Old Black Girl Becomes Canada’s Youngest Person to Graduate College
Nationwide — Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis, a 12-year-old student from Ottawa, Canada has made history as the youngest person ever to graduate from college in her country’s history. This month, she proudly earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Ottawa.
Anthaea started the intensive university program at the age of 9 and finished within just 3 years. Being young and gifted, she faced obstacles in the university such as prejudice and expectations about her demeanor and speech. But she didn’t let those hinder her progress.
“I’m going to be happy for myself too, not just for other people,” she told CBC News. I am proud of myself for getting to this point, despite all the hurdles and blocks that there have been for a person like me.”
Her mother Johanna Dennis has always supported Patricia ever since she noticed her special skills when she was 2 years old. As a law professor and a single mother, Johanna played a vital role in nurturing Patricia’s talents and ensuring her success.
Moreover, Patricia has already established herself as a researcher having completed a 40-page thesis exploring the relationship between functional activity in the cerebellum and handedness. She presented her findings on the research, which she completed in less than a year, at the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology Symposium.
Apart from her remarkable academic achievements, Patricia is also an accomplished violinist. She enjoys spending time with her cats and watching TV shows with her family.
Looking ahead, Patricia plans to pursue postgraduate studies as she aspires to continue her research on functional activity in the cerebellum. She also dreams of having her own research lab and leading a team of like-minded researchers.
“I’m very motivated by the fact that I can be the first (to do) something. You know, being able to show other young, gifted, and talented people that something like this is possible, that you can get through these roadblocks, has always been something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.