This 17 Year Old Scholar Is On Her Way To Earn PhD

Earning a Ph.D. at any stage of life deserves kudos, but to do so at 17, is a feat accomplished by few. Yet, 17-year-old Thessalonika Azru-Embry is about to do just that.

According to, Azru-Embry is close to finishing her Ph.D. in aviation psychology. She was inspired to go into aviation because of her father, Carlos Arzu, a military veteran and a private pilot who is a manager at O’Hare International Airport, according to She grew up around airplanes and flew frequently.

“When I began to think about a profession, I chose one where I could make an impact,” Thessalonika told

Kudos to her mother who home schooled her until she was eight and received the equivalent of a high school diploma. reports that after passing an entrance exam, she got into the College of Lake County and studied psychology. She graduated college at 14, with a 3.9 GPA and was member of the college’s Honors program.

How does she plan to translate an aviation psychology degree into the real world? She hopes it will give her the knowledge to work for aviation companies and reduce what she called “human factor errors,” the types of problems that can cause plane crashes, she told Using psychology to recognize when a pilot is agitated, dealing with stress or having other issues that negatively impact job performance can help a company avoid potentially deadly mistakes in the air, she told “That’s really a blend of psychology and business.”

Go on with your bad self. Black Girls Rock!

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