youngest university graduate

Ontario girl set to make history as Canada's youngest university graduate ever

Child prodigy, Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis, is set to become the youngest-ever university graduate in Canada at 12 years old this Saturday. 

While most kids her age were more concerned with watching TV or playing sports at recess, Dennis was working towards getting her bachelor's degree in biomedical science at the University of Ottawa. 

Dennis began the program when she was just nine years old, following in the footsteps of her mother, Johanna Dennis, who has multiple degrees herself and is now a law professor. 

"I'm going to be happy for myself too, not just for other people. I am proud of myself for getting to this point, despite all the hurdles and blocks that there have been for a person like me," she said in an interview. 

Dennis' mother says she realized her daughter was special when she was just two-and-a-half years old. 

"My advice for people who are also young, gifted, smart, talented — don't let other people's expectations bring you down," she said.

One of the major highlights of her university career was completing a 40-page thesis on the relationship functional activity in the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating balance and movement. 

Following her summer break, Dennis has plans to pursue postgraduate school, with her top three candidates being McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she's interested in continuing her research on functional activity in the cerebellum. 

"I'm very motivated by the fact that I can be the first (to do) something. You know, being able to show other young, gifted and talented people that something like this is possible, that you can get through these roadblocks, has always been something that I've always wanted to do," she said.

Lead photo by

University of Ottawa


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