Get ready for academic envy: This incredible teen is already going for her doctorate

When you were six years old, you could probably count to ten. When Thessalonika Arzu-Embry was six, she was giving inspirational speeches at Tabitha House Community Service, a transitional housing service for people who were displaced because of things like natural disasters, abuse and violence. Now, she’s 16 and getting her doctorate. I’ll give you a moment to pick up your jaws.

I know what you’re thinking: How is that even possible? Homeschooled since age four, Thessalonika graduated from high school when she was 11, and by 2013, she had completed her bachelor’s in psychology. Now, she even has her master’s, but she’s not ready to stop!

She plans on getting her doctorate in aviation psychology. Since her father is a manager at O’Hare International Airport (as well as a veteran and private pilot), she’s been around planes a lot, and wants to use her doctorate to help pilots deal with possibly fatal issues in the cockpit after take-off. After some of the news recently, that sounds like a good idea.

When she’s not busy being amazing at school, she swims and plays tennis. She’s also actively involved in her church’s youth group, and has multi-tasked online classes with church commitments her whole life.

But it doesn’t! Stop! There! She has three self-published books out, which are all available on her website. To help students finish college, she wrote Jump the Education Barrier. For businesses, there’s In the Future, and more generally, there’s The Genius Race.

I have to take a breath. This was exhausting just to write, so I can’t imagine what it’s like to actually live it. All I know is that we’re lucky to have someone who brings such enthusiasm into the world, and I hope she keeps working to make it a better place. Could she maybe write a book with advice for getting out of bed in the morning? Asking for a friend.

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