Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis, a 12-year-old student from Ottawa, Canada, has become the youngest person in Canadian history to graduate from college. She happily received her Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree from the University of Ottawa this month.
Anthaea began the demanding university program at the age of nine and completed it in three years. Because she was young and bright, she encountered prejudice and expectations about her behavior and speech at university. But she didn’t let them slow her down.
“I’m going to be happy for myself too, not just for other people,” she told CBC News. I am proud of myself for getting to this point, despite all the hurdles and blocks that there have been for a person like me.”
Her mother, Johanna Dennis, has always been supportive of Patricia since she first spotted her exceptional abilities when she was two years old. Johanna, as a law professor and a single mother, was instrumental in developing Patricia’s talents and assuring her success.
Patricia has also established herself as a researcher, having produced a 40-page thesis on the association between cerebellar functional activity and handedness. She presented her research findings at the Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology Symposium, which she accomplished in less than a year.
Patricia is a talented violinist in addition to her outstanding scholastic achievements. She likes to spend time with her kitties and watch TV with her family.
Patricia intends to continue her research on functional activity in the cerebellum by pursuing postgraduate courses. She also aspires to run her own research lab and head a team of like-minded scientists.
“I’m very motivated by the fact that I can be the first (to do) something. You know, being able to show other young, gifted, and talented people that something like this is possible, that you can get through these roadblocks, has always been something that I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.