The Westside Gazette

Amazing: 14-year-old gril set to graduate college with a 3.9 GPA

Thessalonika Arzu-Embey and her mother Wonder Embey
Thessalonika Arzu-Embey and her mother Wonder Embey

Amazing: 14-year-old gril set to graduate college with a 3.9 GPA

By Britt L

      Yes, you’ve read the title correctly. A 14-year-old girl is graduating from COLLEGE. Young  Thessalonika Arzu-Embry, who lives on the Great Lakes Naval Base, will be graduating from Chicago State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Thessalonika actually started college at the age of 11 at the College of Lake County. She will end next month with the degree from Chicago State.  With all of the talk about kids in Chicago not being prepared to succeed, this young lady is showing that there is a great deal of brilliance right in the heart of the south side of the city.

Thessalonika doesn’t attend regular high school like every other freshman her age. She actually wakes up early with her mother, Wonder Embry, and makes the commute from home at the Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago to Chicago State on the South Side of the city. On the way to school, Thessalonika and her mother study theory and talk about homework assignments.

Thessalonika dedicates all of her hard work to her mother, who keeps her motivated.

“My mother is a strong inspiration to my success. She is a veteran of the United States Navy, and when she finished her tour, she home-schooled my brother and I”.

Wonder Embry adds that she was just doing right by her daughter.

“The parents are the most influential force in their own children’s lives, and they have the power to influence them to do good and to go forward,” she said.

Embry was home-schooled until she was eight and received the equivalent of a high school diploma. Passing an entrance exam, she got into the College of Lake County and enrolled to study psychology.

Embry carries a 3.9 GPA and is a member of the College of Lake County Honors program and enjoys studying unlike any other kid her age.

Thessalonika plans to continue her studies at a graduate program for clinical psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a private college in North Chicago, or she may also attend Stanford University.

Embry is set to graduate August 30th.  Wish her luck!

Thessalonika’s story reminds us that with hard work, family support and faith, you can do practically anything. Your age doesn’t define your intelligence or abilities. Never underestimate your potential.

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