DeKalb, IL — A 16-year-old Tennessee student is making history after completing her first semester at Clark Atlanta University as the youngest student ever.
Emory Pruitt was accepted to the Historically Black College and University when she was 15. She graduated high school early with a 3.7 GPA, but her path to college didn’t come easy. At her high school, she was mocked for being a young Black woman who dared to dream big.
“It actually was the dedication and my family that pushed me each day,” Pruitt said. “I should thank the people that doubted me; that just made me work even harder.”
Karen Pruitt, Emory’s mother, eventually enrolled her in online classes at Penn Foster High School, a decision she believes allowed the teen to focus on her studies and block out the noise.
“I know that this was the best choice to protect her and her feelings; no one should have to defend the color of their skin,” the mother said.
The transition from remote learning in high school to college was easy for Pruitt. However, she’s not the only college student in the household, Emory’s brother Elijah Pruitt was also accepted into Clark for the 2020 school year.
“We are honored that this exceptional young woman chose Clark Atlanta University to continue her studies and we look forward to supporting her through all of her endeavors,” said Lorri Saddler, Associate Vice President/Dean of Admissions. “Ms. Pruitt has already accomplished so much in just 16 years and we know she’ll continue to build on her successes.”
On Pruitt’s acceptance to the HBCU, she added, “words would not be able to describe how thrilled and excited she was to have come across a dream come true.”