GARY, Ind. - You might call her a "Super Graduate." Raven Osborne is graduating from college Friday, several weeks before her high school graduation.
With a smile that hints at deep satisfaction, the 18-year-old accepted her diploma - proof of the high school senior's bachelor's degree in sociology is real. She'll complete a similar walk in two weeks for her high school diploma.
"I have had my goals, and I achieved them," she said.
Osborne pulled off the improbable by taking a succession of Purdue Northwest University courses starting in her freshman high school year at Gary's 21st Century Charter.
"Being that I was still in high school, I still had the support of my teachers and if I ever need any help with my math work or anything, I knew I could go to them," Osborne said.
One course is required for graduation but the thirst for higher learning, born of bible study from an early age, would not be denied.
"Focus is very important and um sometimes it's easy to lose that focus because people tell you you're not normal and things like that, but I hope that everyone would just ignore those comments and just keep your eyes on your goals," she said.
Osborne credits her mother Hazel, her high school teachers and Purdue Northwest University with supporting her ambition. She doesn't think she missed out on a "normal" high school experience, either.
"From a very, very early she would study the bible, and look for and delve into the bible, and look for answers to introspective questions. And so that gave her an idea of how to study and actually go beyond what is written," said her mother Hazel Osborne.
"When she had questions we tried to accommodate her with our answers, but she did the work and she earned it," said Wes Lukrosas, Purdue Northwestern University Chancellor.
Osborne was told by a teacher in third grade that she could not handle a normal academic load. Now she is returning to her high school campus in the fall with a job, teaching in the early education program.