Anita Bennett is not your average teenager. At 14 years old, she has already accomplished what many adults can only dream of: earning three college degrees before finishing her first year of high school.
Anita, who lives in Ohio, is part of the state’s dual enrollment program College Credit Plus, which allows her to take high school and college courses simultaneously. Through this program, she has earned an associate of arts, an associate of technical studies in child care, administration, and management, and most recently, an associate of science from Cuyahoga Community College .
Anita graduated summa cum laude and received her associate of science degree at the 2023 commencement ceremony on May 19, where she was met with rapturous applause and a special recognition from the college president. She said that her motivation comes from her passion for learning and her family’s dedication to education.
“I’ve always had a passion and a love for children, so I knew I wanted to do something like that with my life,” Anita said. “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.”
Anita’s mother runs a five-star licensed home childcare service, which Anita plans to take over someday. Her mother is not the only role model in her family. Her older sisters also started taking college courses at 13 and 11 years old, respectively. Anita said that she learned from their experiences and advice.
“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,” Anita said.
Anita is not alone in her remarkable achievement. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were about 70,000 students under the age of 18 who earned associate degrees in the United States in 2019. However, Anita stands out as one of the youngest and most prolific among them.
Anita is not done yet. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree before she finishes high school and continue her education beyond that. She said that she hopes to inspire other young people to follow their dreams and pursue higher education.
“I hope that they see that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and if you work hard,” Anita said. “And I hope that they see that education is very important and that it can open up a lot of doors for you in life.”
Anita is an exceptional young lady, and we at Rising Africa want to celebrate her today. Keep pushing higher and higher and redefining what is possible. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
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