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African Achievements

Meet Dorothy Jean Tillman, the Chicago Teen With a Master’s Degree at Age 14


Also known as “DJ”, Dorothy Jean Tillman is a genius from Chicago who earned her Master’s degree in Environmental and Sustainable Science from Unity College in Unity, Maine at the age of 14.

While in high school, Dorothy managed to earn her Associate’s degree in Psychology at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, where she finished at age 11. Then, at just 12-years old she earned her Bachelor’s degree in humanities from Excelsior College in Albany, New York. She finally bagged a Master’s degree two years ago, in 2020.

Dorothy Jean Tillman is also planning to continue her studies in engineering, as well as become an entrepreneur related to the field. The teen has already authored a book called Unlock the Jeanius Within; she opined that she wants to work with kids and inspire them to learn more. 

“I love helping kids have bright futures. I feel like I’m here to make people happy and to help people find their purpose,”; she said during an interview


“I’m very proud of her and I’m proud of the example that she’s leaving behind,” Jimalita Tillman said of her daughter.

Meet 13 years old Genuis Caleb Anderson, who is Georgia Tech’s youngest Student.

Dorothy Jean Tillman

DJ’s academic journey began in schools for gifted and talented children. However, she soon came to feel that the distractions of a regular school environment were actually making it harder for her to learn.

Dorothy Jean Tillman revealed it was her grandmother who first aroused her interest in STEM and engineering. She said she would buy her various magazines and books on the topic and studying it made her join engineering and coding enrichment programs as a child.

“I know in the future I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to be my own boss, I kind of want to be able to take everything that I’ve learned; all of my degrees, and group them into one thing. Because of the way I am, I can’t stay on one project. I have to hop around to different things to make sure I stay passionate in everything equally.” The young master’s degree holder added.


Visit Dorothy Jean’s personal website to see more about her work in STEM

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