17-Year-Old Nigerian-American Teen Graduates High School and College in the Same Year

Adrian Ottah, a 17-year-old African Nigerian American student at University High School in Newark, New Jersey, is graduating with both a high school diploma and a college degree this year.

Adrian, born to Nigerian parents who moved to the United States few years before he was born attended University High School, Newark where they offer a program where college professors come to the school and teach college-level courses for a few students.

“My true motivation was my parents, my immigrant parents,” Ottah told 11 Alive. “I know they didn’t have the opportunity to do this, so when I had the opportunity, I just took it and ran with it.”

His school offers a special program where college professors teach college-level courses to a select group of students.

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Adrian’s parent moved to the United States in search of greener pastures and to make their children have a fulfilling dream.”For greener pastures. I heard America you could live your dream, I said OK, let me go see that dream,”Adrian’s mother, Mariam Watson said.

At University High School, Adriana earned 60 college credits in their program despite juggling high school classes with college-level classes. He stated that though college classes were harder, it was not too hard for him.

“I’m graduating with over a 3.0 GPA in a college class while juggling high school classes as well and I have a 3.5 in high school,” he said. Mariam expressed so much pride in her son’s achievement.

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Adriana said that he wants to honor the sacrifice made by his parents and to change the arc of his family in a single generation.

Juggling high school classes and college-level coursework wasn’t easy. Ottah often stayed late after school to complete his college assignments. But his hard work has paid off. Ottah has already racked up enough college credits to potentially earn a bachelor’s degree by the time he is 19 years old.

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