MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local scholar is heading off to college – years before expected.
Shortly after entering high school, she was promoted to her senior year.
“I’ve gotten into the University of Memphis, Fayetteville, I got into Texas State, Cornell College and I might be missing one and Murray State University as well,” Emazjay said.
At 16 years old, Emazjay hasn’t just gotten accepted, but she is heading off to college.
“It was definitely a nice long conversation with my parents about being residential and being away from home so early, but my mother trust me and raised me right,” Emazjay said.
A few months ago, Emazjay and her mom got an email from her principal at Kipp: Delta Collegiate High School in West Helena, Arkansas, promoting her from a high school sophomore to a senior overnight.
“It didn’t feel real at first until I actually started going to class with the seniors then I was like culture shock,” Emazjay said.
This is only the latest accomplishment for Emazjay.
“In the 7th grade, I took my act and I scored a 23. In eighth grade, I started taking college courses,” she said.
You heard her right – a 23 ACT score at just 13 years old. The ACT site says the average score in Arkansas is a 19 and that’s for high school students preparing for graduation.
“I was actually disappointed because I wanted to get a 25 but then I was like I guess a 23 isn’t bad,” Emazjay laughed.
Emazjay grew up in West Helena with her mom Sametrius Jones who said she made the best life she could for her two daughters as a teen mom.
“To see them beat the odds and not have kids at a young age and excel, it’s everything to me,” Sametrius told us.
She’s beating the odds and leaving the nest.
“(crying) …and I’m a big crybaby so please forgive me,” Samertrius said. “It’s knowing that everything I taught her when I thought I had two more years. She’s dwindled it down and said ‘I’m ready at 16, let’s go.’”
With her eyes on the University of Arkansas Fayetteville for the fall semester, Emazjay plans to study physics and astronomy before starting her career as an astrophysicist at NASA and retiring at 30 years old.
“You don’t have to be a teacher, work at a restaurant and be a restaurant manager. You can excel in stem,” Emazjay said.