Friday, May 24, 2024

Chicago Teen Makes History: Dorothy Jean Tillman II Graduates with Doctorate at 17 from Arizona State University | WATCH

Dorothy Jean Tillman ll - screenshot
Dorothy Jean Tillman ll – screenshot

*Earlier this month, the sun shone brightly over the campus of Arizona State University, casting a warm glow on the excited faces of graduates at the spring commencement ceremony. Among them was Dorothy Jean Tillman II, a 17-year-old Chicagoan who had just achieved an extraordinary feat: walking in her graduation ceremony after earning her doctoral degree in integrated behavioral health from ASU’s College of Health Solutions.

Dorothy’s journey was nothing short of inspiring. She was homeschooled in her early years, which allowed her to progress at her own pace. Her academic prowess became evident when she entered college at just 10 years old. By 2020, she had already earned a Master of Science degree. The following year, at 15, she was accepted into the Doctorate of Behavioral Health Management program at Arizona State University.

In December 2023, Dorothy successfully defended her dissertation, officially earning her doctoral degree. She turned her dissertation into a journal article focused on reducing healthcare stigma and improving student access to health services.

Her innovative ideas and dedication impressed Dr. Lesley Manson, a clinical associate professor at ASU who oversaw her dissertation. Dr. Manson described Dorothy as an “inquisitive” and “innovative” student, emphasizing her rare and unique accomplishments. Dorothy’s passion for education was deeply rooted in her family’s legacy. She credited her grandmother, a Civil Rights movement participant, for instilling the importance of education and lifelong learning.

“The way I always held education so high on my own, aside from being raised that way, was finding different things to be educated about,” Dorothy shared. This curiosity and drive to learn new things were constants in her life.


Dorothy’s mother was another significant influence, consistently working hard to uphold their family’s legacy and serving as a role model.

“Seeing my mother consistently work so hard to continuously uphold our family’s legacy, and be that person that everyone was able to go to if they needed anything … always seeing her like a ‘wonder woman’ definitely made me want to grow up into an accomplished person,” Dorothy told Good Morning America.

Beyond her academic achievements, Dorothy was passionate about giving back to her community. She founded and served as CEO of a leadership institute that emphasized the arts and STEM.

She believed that integrating art into STEM education made learning more exciting and accessible for kids, opening them up to a world of possibilities and knowledge.

Dorothy Jean Tillman ll - screenshot
Dorothy Jean Tillman ll – screenshot

As for her future, Dorothy remained humble and thoughtful.

“I’m really just grateful that the world is my oyster, and that I’ve done so much so young,” she said. “And I have time to kind of think that through.” She encouraged other young people to embrace the journey of figuring out their dreams and goals, reminding them that it’s okay to not have everything figured out immediately.

Dorothy Jean Tillman II’s story is a testament to the power of education, curiosity, and determination. Her achievements at such a young age are not only impressive but also inspiring, showing that with the right support and mindset, anything is possible. She continues to be a beacon of hope and inspiration for young people everywhere, demonstrating that the pursuit of knowledge and the desire to make a difference are timeless values worth striving for.

RELATED NEWS ON EURWEB.COM: Chicago Preteen College Graduate (Dorothy Jean Tillman) Aims for Even Higher Goals – EUR Exclusive!

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