8 of the Youngest Black College Graduates You Should Know

Some of these gifted children started taking classes before they could even legally drive.

Top: Ola Orekunrin, Gabrielle Turnquest, Anne-Marie Imafidon, Polite Stewart Jr. Bottom: Cortlan Wickliff, Brittney Exline, James Martin, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry.
Top: Ola Orekunrin, Gabrielle Turnquest, Anne-Marie Imafidon, Polite Stewart Jr. Bottom: Cortlan Wickliff, Brittney Exline, James Martin, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry. YouTube screenshots

College is often seen as the beginning of a young person’s path into adulthood, but apparently these eight young black geniuses couldn’t wait. Some of these young college graduates began taking classes before they were legally able to drive. While hitting the books in law, medicine and science, these young graduates have broken records.

1. Thessalonika Arzu-Embry

She’s not old enough to have a learner’s permit, but Illinois resident Arzu-Embry graduated from Chicago State University at the age 14 in 2013. In college since the age of 11, Arzu-Embry maintained a 3.9 GPA with a major in psychology. With college under her belt, she plans on pursuing graduate education in psychology.

2. Cortlan Wickliff

At the age of 22, Wickliff became the second-youngest black man to finish Harvard University Law School. Wickliff was admitted into college at the age of 14, first completing coursework at the University of North Texas and then going on to graduate from Rice University. Now that he’s solidified his place in Harvard Law’s history, he’s pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering from Texas A&M University.

3. Anne-Marie Imafidon

As part of “Britain’s brainiest family,” Imafidon has a lot to live up to. By the age of 15, Imafidon was admitted to Oxford University. At 20 she went on to finish her master’s at Oxford, making her the youngest master’s graduate in the school’s history. Known as a STEM expert, Imafidon has gone on to found STEMettes, a program to foster women’s development in the science and technology fields.

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