Spring 2023 Commencement: Anita Bennett Earns Third Degree at Age 14
College Credit Plus student to receive Associate of Science
In less than 10 months, Anita Bennett will have earned three associate degrees and two short-term certificates from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) — all before the end of her freshman year of high school.
Bennett, 14, has been a College Credit Plus (CCP) student at Tri-C for three years and earned her two previous associate degrees in August and December 2022. CCP is a dual enrollment program that allows students to take college courses while completing high school. The program is open to students in grades 7 through 12.
She will receive her third degree — an Associate of Science — and graduate summa cum laude for the final time during the College’s Commencement on May 19. She is considering Cleveland State University and Notre Dame College, among others, to pursue a major in early childhood education or small business management this fall.
“Tri-C gave me a huge head start on my career, and this will make my life so much more fulfilling,” Bennett said. “I will be able to start my career as an early childhood administrator at age 18.”
The Richmond Heights resident and Eastern Campus student is the third of three sisters who came through Tri-C via the CCP program to find early success.
As a CCP student, Bennett had a flexible schedule that offered opportunities to participate in gymnastics classes and mime dance at churches and conferences around the United States. She also was involved in the Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Tri-C.
Tell me about yourself!
I am extremely passionate about children and teaching. I have loved working with children my entire life. I always knew I wanted to work in a field that revolved around children. Something unique about me is that I grew up surrounded by many different children. My parents own a five-star licensed Type A home childcare, so I always meet new families. I decided at a young age that I wanted to take over my parents’ home childcare business when I grew up. This helped shape my educational journey because I already knew what I wanted to be in life. What interests me most about being a childcare administrator is helping children learn and grow. I want to give families all the proper tools and information they need to become successful adults. I love that this profession will allow me to make a positive impact on many lives.
What made you choose Tri-C?
My mom, sisters, uncle and auntie went to this College before me, so I wanted to keep up with our family legacy. The Eastern Campus is very close to my home.
Describe your Tri-C experience.
I feel like Tri-C is my second family. I have met a lot of nice people along the way. A counselor, Matthew Kasl, always made sure that my sister and I took the courses that we needed to achieve our long-term goals. I had the honor to meet Eastern Campus President Todd Kitchen and his wife earlier this semester, and we had an amazing time getting to know one another. I also had the honor of meeting Tri-C President Michael Baston, and we had a motivating conversation. Sheila Howard has always been helpful when I needed to get in contact with different program representatives. She is like family to us.
What’s your advice for potential students considering a similar academic or career path?
As a CCP student, you must establish good time management skills and stay focused. It is worth it if graduating college is your goal of yours. This program will save you a lot of time. Start slow and try one or two courses to see how it works with your schedule. You must be willing to put in the work. You are not too young to achieve any goal you put your mind to. Always believe in yourself!
Cuyahoga Community College will celebrate the academic achievements of its newest graduates during Commencement on May 19 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. Check our News and Events page leading up to the event for more highlights from the Class of 2023.
May 10, 2023
By Anthony Moujaes, 126-987-3068 or email@example.com