Editor’s Note — The following story is being reprinted with persmission from WKRC.
Most 12-year-old’s are finishing up projects for their sixth-grade classes, but a Hillsboro 12-year-old has just earned an associate’s degree.
“I don’t want to be treated like a kid,” said Lucius Garrity, who earned his associate’s degree in liberal arts.
Garrity enrolled at Chatfield College at 10 years old.
“I’m pretty sure I’m the youngest graduate from here,” said Garrity
In first grade, his father William Garrity said he was ready for advanced level courses not offered at school. Lucius flew through school at home. Ironically, he can’t even earn his high school diploma until he is 16.
“It’s kind of the joke in our house, I’ll have my bachelor’s before I have my GED,” said Lucius.
His family knew he was ready for the next step. William said, “He loves a challenge.”
Lucius tested into Chatfield and was accepted through Ohio’s College Credit Plus program. He’s not even eligible for scholarships, and he’s too young to have an ACT or SAT score.
“Sometimes I think people from the outside would think, ‘Oh, well, a 12-year-old, you’re probably going easy on him, but that is not true. We are not going easy on him. He is achieving all of this by his own merit,” said David Hesson, associate dean at Chatfield College.
In between classes, Lucius is interacting with people who are at least 10 years older than him. Despite the age difference, he said those peers became friends.
“It’s hard to describe in words. I’m incredibly proud,” said Lucius.
Lucius is already taking a marketing class at Miami University.
“Some of his instructors have said, ‘Hey, when you are running the whole world, just remember that we are here,’” said Hesson.
When he finds time to be a kid, Lucius loves music. He’s a whiz at the Rubik’s cube and enjoys computer games and coding. But by age 16, he plans to have his bachelor’s degree in computer science.
“I couldn’t have done this without the help of my parents, but I’d assume there were tons of kids out there that could do the same thing if they just really dedicate themselves,” said Lucius.
His family will get to see him get his diploma on June 13. Chatfield is hosting a socially distanced private graduation for each student.