Photo cred: The Daily Herald.

Photo cred: The Daily Herald.

While most 14-year-olds are enjoying the last few weeks of summer before heading off to high school, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry is wrapping up her undergraduate studies. The Great Lakes, Illinois resident is just a month away from completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chicago State University.

Although most would call her story extraordinary, Arzu-Embry said her college experience has been quite normal.

“My college experience is a traditional college experience for me — it is just that I have completed it faster,” she explained to the Daily Herald.  “I am very excited about joining others in having the opportunity to contribute to society in a significant way.”

The impressive teen carries a 3.9 GPA, is a member of the school’s Honor College, and serves as a student senator.  Thessalonika credits her mom, who homeschooled her, for inspiring her to pursue education.

“My mother is a strong inspiration to my success. She is a veteran of the United States Navy, and when she finished her tour, she home-schooled my brother and I,” she said.

After she earned the equivalent of a high school diploma through homeschooling, Thessalonika passed the entrance exam for the College of Lake County and began studying psychology. She was 11.

These days, Thessalonika and her mother rise early, pray, work out, then spend their hour-long commute discussing theory and going over their homework assignments. It’s a routine that has helped the teen get through college and set her on a path to even greater academic achievements.

Education is a family affair for Embrys. One of Thessalonika’s advisors told the Daily Herald that whenever he met with her to discuss her progress, her mother, brother, and father would all show up.

After graduation, Thessalonika plans to pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago or Stanford University.

We wish her continued success!

  • geenababe

    Good for her that is amazing she has already completed her undergraduate right when others are starting high school.

  • eve-audrey

    wow congrats! it’s good to see good news in those times

  • Kacey

    That’s awesome!

  • Ebony Walton El

    This is an amazing news article and it lacks commentary popularity that usually is on this site for the whack info. smdh Our people are majorly dead if they can’t take the focus off Babylon for less than 5 minutes of reading to hear about such an inspiring young woman and family! This family is obviously doing something right!! I’m so glad to have come across this article on tumblr because it just so happens that I’m researching how to become a private home school teacher in Cali. Reading that this child has accomplished all this through homeschooling and at such a young age is beyond awesome sauce! I can’t wait to uplift my community and bring out more shining stars similar to this princess! This is a model of how we raise kings and queens!!

  • momof3dews

    Well done young lady! May God continue to bless you in your future endeavors!

  • Starla

    These homeschooled kids are kicking major butt. Not only do I love her achievement, I love her name too.

    Blacks kids have been doing phenomenal this year, so many wonderful stories on this site and off about great achievements. Keep em coming, Clutch!

  • Misha

    So cool! She can be my tutor for my psych classes next semester :)

  • C


  • IJusWannaSay…

    I’m so proud of this young lady! Black excellence at it’s finest!

  • omfg

    i’m such a loser.

  • ScriptTease

    This young Lady will make a great Psychologist for troubled youth. Someone they can relate to without feeling intimidated. Congratulations for her.

  • noirluv45

    Yes, indeed!!! I’m so proud of this young lady. Homeschooled kids do very well.

    Congratulations, Thessalonika!

  • solfresh

    YES! This is why I believe in a standard of excellence, working for the best, and expecting the best. I’m so excited for her. I need more stories like this.

    More and more I’m starting to see good reasons for home schooling or self teaching my future children.

  • noirluv45

    I was thinking how articles about Beyonce, Amber Rose, black women behavior, etc. get 100+, but good, positive articles like this, very few. I wonder why?

  • KDJW

    Very inspirational story wish her much success

  • Pat

    Yet [another] beautiful and inspiring story to share. I’m so proud of this young lady. She’s well on her way…

  • Brownie13

    I wish this would get national attention if it hasn’t already.

  • Kam

    They just posted it this afternoon. As of now there are 5 pages of comments, which is pretty good.

  • Kam

    Homeschooled! Excellent. Too many of our children are not being taught to their full potential. Look what they can achieve!

  • Starla

    @omfg..No you aren’t, you just took the conventional path, and Thessalonika took the road less travelled.

  • GlowBelle

    Inspiring indeed! This gives me hope that our future isn’t going to be all that bleak, especially with bright kids like her around. Congrats to her and wish her all kinds of success :)

  • RaiseTheBar


    Definitely an endorsement for home schooling vs. “Waiting for Superman” with regard to the public education system.

  • LadyI

    I needed to hear some good news, love this post!

  • RaiseTheBar


    Don’t be too hard on yourself!

    ME= many, many, many, many, ad infinitum years older than this young lady is, at this moment, FEELING both dismay in my accomplishments or lack thereof AND pride in her accomplishments and hope for younger generations.

    SHE is a POSITIVE role model for young and old alike.

    As long as WE have breath in OUR bodies, WE CAN CHOOSE to better each of ourselves as an individual, which betters the family, which in turn betters OUR communities.

    SHE has definitely Raised The Bar!!! — WE need to Step-UP our games.

    KUDOS, Ms. Thessalonika Arzu-Embry to You and Your Family!!!

  • Leo the Yardie Chick

    WOOHOO! Great for her!

    Thanks for sharing, Clutch! I really, REALLY needed this.

  • Cali

    Love it! :)

  • Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    Amen!! Keep reaching for those stars honey!

  • SouthernDarling

    Perhaps because you all were the first to comment. The article was posted today….Black people need to stop being so quick to judge and label their own. It’s only adding to the problem.

  • RenJennM

    It seems like home-schooled kids really excel. A lot of famous kids get home-schooled and most of them get straight A’s. Two of my cousins were home-schooled for the first 7 or 8 years of their lives, and now one of them gets A’s and is studying law in college right now (the other one is the Air Force with me).

  • Me27

    Very Impressive! Congrats to her and her family on this amazing achievement.

  • MommieDearest

    Excellent! Kudos to her and her family for providing their love, support and guidance. She and the young man in PA that saved the little girl are living proof that our youth are not a lost cause. We have budding leaders who will shine brightly when their time comes.

  • Krysie869

    Homeschooling my future child..Amerikkan education is crap anyway…

  • SayWhat

    Congrats young lady, you make us proud.

  • Marketing Gimmicks

    Yes to home schooling!!!!

  • jamilah

    Congrats to you Miss Lady. I meant to press thumbs up and not thumbs down!

  • Leo

    How do you get the study lan the mother went through with this little star

  • Kalua

    Wow! Congratulations beautiful!

  • shalala

    Congrats! How come she didn’t get a scholarship! She obviously deserves one!

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