11-Year-Old California Girl Graduates College, Breaking Record Set by Her Brother Just Last Year

Athena Elling graduated from Irvine Valley College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts seven months ahead of her 12th birthday

An 11-year-old girl from California just graduated from community college, breaking her own brother’s record in the process.

Athena Elling graduated cum laude from Irvine Valley College on Thursday, May 23, with an associate’s degree in liberal arts, according to the school.

As a result, the preteen broke her own brother’s record, set last year, for youngest person to graduate with a degree from the college. Tycho Elling was also 11 years old when he graduated from Irvine Valley with an associate’s degree in mathematics, according to The Orange County Register and NBC affiliate KNBC.

His birthday took place within days of his graduation, while his sister’s isn’t for another seven months.

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“I know I’m supposed to say that learning is its own reward and it really kind of is, but also, as a second child, beating my older brother is kind of everything,” Athena told The Orange County Register.

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As for the future, the 11-year-old girl “dreams of becoming an allergist or pursuing acting full-time,” according to Irvine Valley.

She also doesn't plan to stop her studies anytime soon. She told ABC affiliate KABC that she has her sights set on getting another degree, this time in either music or psychology.

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“There are still so many classes I want to take,” said the preteen, who has already registered for history and music classes for the summer, per the Register.

"I have started on calculus and I think there are probably at least 30 more classes I really want to take before I am ready to commit to another major," she explained.

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Athena’s record may not last long, though. Her 9-year-old sister is also a college student at Irvine Valley, KNBC reported.

“I beat my brother’s record, and she’ll probably beat my record,” Athena told the outlet.

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