Eugenie De Silva, 14-Year-Old College Graduate, To Start Master’s Program At Harvard In The Fall
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 13, 2013
Eugenie de Silva may be only 14 years old, but she already has very specific career aspirations.
“It is my ultimate goal to become the U.S. Defense Secretary,” de Silva, who lives in Harrogate, Tenn., told the Middlesboro Daily News earlier this year.
Though her dream job may sound mighty ambitious for a girl so young, de Silva has proved time and again that she’s anything but a typical teen.
A child prodigy, de Silva graduated from high school at the age of 11. This summer, she became a college grad. As the Daily News notes, the talented teen graduated summa cum laude from American Military University with a bachelor’s degree in intelligence analysis and a 4.0 GPA. She has also published two children’s books and authored several research papers on a wide range of topics including physics, behavioral sciences and psychology.
Starting in the fall, the extraordinary young woman will continue to impress the world with her academic prowess as she begins her simultaneous pursuit of two master’s degrees at two separate universities — one in legal studies at Harvard University and the other in intelligence analysis at American Military University.
“It’s always been my dream to attend Harvard so when I got there, it was really magnificent for me,” she told a local media channel earlier this year.
De Silva and her dad will soon be moving to Boston to be close to the Ivy League institution; she’ll reportedly be finishing her AMU degree remotely.
Despite her staggering intelligence and her many successes, de Silva told Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times in a recent interview that her life has not always been so charmed.
Raised by her Sri Lankan-born dad, a single parent, the teen says that as a chile she was bullied and teased for her brilliance.
“Everyone knew that I genuinely loved school, and that was the focus of much childish teasing,” she told the newspaper. Fortunately, she says it eventually “got a lot better” as she grew older.
De Silva says another challenge she’s faced has been the financial burden of her education. Because of her young age, the teen says she doesn’t qualify for college scholarships.
“The only major difficulty was that my dad has continuously had to pay out of pocket,” she told the Times of her life journey. “[It’s] definitely a challenge in completing my education at such a fast pace.”
De Silva says her dad, who is a professor of physics and chemistry at Walters State Community College and a founder of the Virginia Institute of Research, has been a huge inspiration to her over the years.
“My father has taken care of me, as a single parent, and has promoted education in my life from a very young age,” she told the Middlesboro Daily News.
Her father also makes sure the young woman finds time for fun, encouraging her to pursue activities and hobbies outside the realm of academia. His methods have apparently worked, as his daughter is anything but a dull girl.
A soccer enthusiast and self-taught piano player, de Silva is said to be quite the jokester.
“She likes to play pranks,” her dad told Fox 43 with a laugh.