Indiana teen is graduating college -- before she gets her high school diploma

OK, so you thought your 18-year-old who has just picked his or her college is some kind of brain box?

Then consider Indiana’s Raven Osborne.

Yup, Osborne, who has been taking college classes part-time, is to graduate from university. Before she gets her high school diploma.

And now she is going to be a teacher at the same high school.

Osborne, a senior at the 895-student 21st Century Charter School in Gary, will earn a bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in early childhood education from Purdue University Northwest on May 5 – and then graduate from high school on May 22.

"Yeah, they think I'm lying," Raven told CBS News.

But it’s true. According to the Big Ten Network (BTN), Osborne began taking classes at a local community college as a freshman and soon earned an associate’s degree in general studies. Then, encouraged by her mother, Hazel Osborne, and 21st Century’s president and superintendent, Kevin Teasley, she decided to become the first in the school’s history to earn a bachelor’s degree while still enrolled.

“When I was a younger, I was labeled with a learning disability,” Osborne told the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune in 2016.

Osborne told the Post-Tribune it was tough taking both high school and college classes and that there were times when she wanted to quit, but her mother constantly encouraged her and told her she could do it.

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

While at Purdue Northwest, which is in nearby Hammond, Osborne stood out to faculty and staff alike, BTN reported.

“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.

Meanwhile, Purdue associate professor of sociology Ralph Cherry, who had Osborne last spring in a class on research methods, said he did not realize that she was a high school student.

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

If all that wasn’t enough, Osborne, who will turn 19 in August, was also striving to earn money.

"At one point, I also tried to work a job,” she told the Times. “I was working a midnight shift at a day care center. I just had to watch the children while they were sleeping, then feed them breakfast when they woke up. It was a daycare for parents who worked a night shift. It just got to be too stressful, and I had to resign."

But now she will be pulling down a salary -- she has been hired by the school and will be called an early interventionist with elementary-age children and earning more than $30,000 a year, the paper reported.

Not a bad paycheck for a recent college graduate. An even better one for a just-graduated high-schooler.

USA Today


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