Dorothy Jean Tillman received her bachelor’s degree from Excelsior College which also graduated a 72-year-old that same day on July 13, 2018, when she was 12 years.
Prior to earning her bachelor’s degree, Tillman had already bagged an associate degree in psychology from the College of Lake County, in Grayslake, at age 10.
Nicknamed Dorothy Genius by her mother, Jemelita Tillman, the precocious student plans to continue her pursuit of levelling up to a master’s degree in environmental engineering, but she’ll take some time away from the classroom before she attains another diploma.
In her words:
“With environmental engineering, it’s all about helping people, the environment, and that’s just what I love to do, that’s what makes me happy,”
DJ’s mother noticed her daughter’s love for school when she began memorizing “double digits by four or three” and made an effort to nurture her love for learning.
She also added that her child “is one of the greatest” things to come out of Chicago’s south side. Despite her academic prowess, the child prodigy still makes time for leisure activities.
“It’s not I just lock myself away from the world, I still have friends and we go to the park and go to the movies.”
The 14-year-old NSBE Jr. member and Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) alumnus has been making positive strides in her community via volunteer works such as ”The BackPack Givebacks”.
Dorothy Jean Tillman hopes that by this, she would encourage other young girls her age to pursue their dreams especially careers in STEM.