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14-year-old girl earns third college degree before finishing first year of high school



When 14-year-old Anita Bennett walked the stage at the 2023 commencement ceremony at Cuyahoga Community College, she was met with rapturous applause.

Graduating summa cum laude and receiving her associate of science, Bennett made history by earning her third degree before finishing her first year of high school.

And she doesn’t plan on stopping.

According to ABC News 5 Cleveland, Bennett plans to go after a bachelor’s degree before she finishes her high school journey thanks, partly, to Ohio’s dual enrollment program College Credit Plus (CCP).

Through CPP, Bennett can take high school and credit courses simultaneously, allowing students to experience the demands of higher education.

As a freshman at Ohio Connections Academy, the 14-year-old Northeast Ohio scholar earned an associate of arts and associate technical studies in child care, administration, and management degrees.

“When you don’t know about college, that kind of stuff, it can seem really, really hard, and it could seem impossible at times.

But just knowing that if you put your mind to it, you can do it and that the sky’s the limit and you create your own boundaries,” Bennett said.

Her confidence can also be attributed to her family’s dedication to education and hard work.

Bennett’s older sisters began taking college courses at 13 and 11, respectively.

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But her mother’s dedication to maintaining her own business has truly inspired the 14-year-old to push herself even further and follow in the footsteps set before her.

“Seeing my mother and how hard she worked and how she got her business running and how successful it was really inspired me to go to that field as well.

And I’ve always had a passion and a love for children, so I knew I wanted to do something like that with my life,” she said.

“So seeing her already have a successful business, it only makes sense to me to take over that when I get older since I wanted to work in the childcare industry as well.”


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