11-Year-Old Graduates from College, Beating the Record Set by Her 12-Year-Old Brother

At 11 years old, Athena Elling is doing what any normal pre-teen would do: exploring her hobbies, taking care of her pets and hanging out with her family. However, unlike her peers, in a few days she will also be a college graduate. On Thursday, Elling will become the youngest student to graduate from Irvine Valley College. She will graduate cum laude — which means she had a GPA of 3.50–3.74 — with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. In addition, she will be breaking her brother’s record. Tycho Elling broke the record for the youngest IVC graduate at 11 years old but turned 12 just days after graduating with an associate's degree in mathematics. Since then, he has been taking both undergraduate and graduate-level mathematics courses at University of California Irvine, and this fall will be applying to doctoral programs. Other than academics, one of Athena's main passions is acting and modeling, which she has been doing for a little more than a year. She says her master plan is to become an allergist, and there’s little doubt that she will achieve her goal.