A teen from Tennessee has made history by becoming the youngest student to be accepted to Clark Atlanta University when she was just 15 years old.
The university announced that Emory Pruitt, who hails from Hendersonville, TN, has enrolled as a student at the university for fall 2020, making her one of the youngest students in the HBCU’s history and the youngest one in recent memory.
The young woman graduated from her high school early with a 3.7 GPA. Yet, her path to college was marked by challenges. Pruitt said adversity and racism in her hometown high school didn’t deter her from chasing her dream. “It actually was the dedication and my family that pushed me each day,” said Pruitt, who is now 16. “I should thank the people that doubted me; that just made me work even harder.”
Emory’s mother, Karen Pruitt, had enrolled her daughter in online classes at Penn Foster High School, a big decision that worked out for her.
“I know that this was the best choice to protect her and her feelings; no one should have to defend the color of their skin,” Karen said.
On her daughter being accepted to Clark Atlanta University, Karen said, “Words would not be able to describe how thrilled and excited she was to have come across a dream come true.” Better news hit the family when Emory’s brother Elijah Pruitt was also accepted into the university for the 2020 school year.
“We are honored that this exceptional young woman chose Clark Atlanta University to continue her studies and we look forward to supporting her through all of her endeavors,” said Lorri Saddler, associate vice president/dean of admissions. “Ms. Pruitt has already accomplished so much in just 16 years and we know she’ll continue to build on her successes.”
Clark Atlanta University is no stranger to notable events. The college was formed after Atlanta University and Clark College merged. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population, was established four years later.