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Indiana teen graduates from college before finishing high school


Courtesy of the 21ST Century Charter School

Zelda Caldwell - published on 05/04/17

Once labeled with a learning disability, she took university classes part-time.

When 18-year-old Raven Osborne walks onto the stage to receive her high school diploma later this month, she’ll already have one – a diploma from a university, that is.

Osborne, who told the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune that she was once “labeled with a learning disability,” began taking classes at a local community college as a freshman at 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana.

According to USA Today, encouraged by her mother who is the president of the charter school she attends, she went on to do something no one had ever done at her high school – earn a college degree before graduating.

On May 5, Osborne will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in early childhood education from Purdue University Northwest.

“My mother always told me I could do whatever I wanted to do in life,” she told the Post-Tribune.

Her professors and administrators at Purdue Northwest are full of praise for the Osborne.

“She not only is academically gifted, but has demonstrated amazing intellectual maturity in her pursuit of a baccalaureate degree at Purdue Northwest,” Purdue Northwest spokesman Wes Lukoshus told the Northwest Indiana Times.

Purdue Northwest associate professor of sociology Ralph Cherry told the Times that he didn’t realize she was a high school student. Osborne excelled in his class on research methods last spring.

“Research methods is the most demanding class that I teach,” he told the Times.

While her classmates will be looking forward to a summer before they make their first step into “the real world,” Osborne already has a job lined up. She’s been hired by her own school (for a salary of over $30,000 a year) to work in early-intervention with elementary-age children.

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