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'Determined' 16-Year-Old Celebrates Graduation From Liberty University

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Like so many others this month, Abigail Lee just graduated college. There’s one thing, though, that sets her apart from her peers: she’s only 16 years old.

In fact, according to WDBJ-TV, Lee was 15 when she completed the coursework for her bachelor’s of science degree. Her birthday was in April.

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Lee’s parents enrolled their daughter in Liberty University Online Academy — a kindergarten through 12th grade internet-based school program — in 2020, when they moved to California. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and her flexible learning schedule, Lee was left with a lot of time on her hands.

“There was basically nothing else to do but study,” she told the local news outlet.

She completed her high school degree in 2021, and immediately enrolled in Liberty University Online to study psychology.

“I was kind of questioning going into psychology when I first chose it because I wasn’t sure how my faith would fit into what I was learning,” she said. “[At Liberty], I didn’t have to just fend for myself and research everything by myself but had a curriculum that actually incorporated a Christian perspective. It wasn’t just entirely (faith-based) or entirely secular. It integrated Christian views with science.”

Sonia Lee, Abigail’s mother, said, “Obviously, Abigail is very hard-working and very determined, but the secret that she didn’t say is the reason why she was pushing herself so hard was she was trying to beat her brother, her older brother.”

Lee’s brother also earned his bachelor’s degree at 16 years old. He went on to earn his master’s degree in theological studies from Liberty. He graduated in December of last year.

As for the younger Lee, now that she has finished her undergraduate studies, she has enrolled in Johns Hopkins University, pursuing a master’s degree in data policy.

The teenage graduate’s father, Jong Lee, credited his kids’ success to the freedom of nontraditional grade-school education.

“Our children really flourished in this online and flexible environment,” he told Liberty. “And I think they were able to be much more efficient with their studies than they would have been stuck in a classroom, leaving more time for extracurricular pursuits.”

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church