At the age of 16, Grace Bush received her college degree before she graduated high school. The youngest in FAU’s dual-enrollment program to do so, Bush walked across the stage on May 2 and claimed her B.S. degree in criminal justice magna cum laude from the College for Design and Social Inquiry just prior to receiving her high school diploma on May 9 from FAU High School. Her story became national news during the past week and Bush was featured on NBC’s “The TODAY Show” on Saturday, May 10. Click Here to watch the NBC segment.
One of nine children from Hollywood, Bush was dual-enrolled at FAU and FAU High. Her mother, Gisla, homeschooled her and her siblings, and she dove into collegiate life at the age of 13 at Broward College, before transferring to FAU in summer 2012.
Bush’s sister, Gabrielle, also graduated from FAU High on May 9. She also been simultaneously pursuing a university degree and expects to graduate from FAU’s health administration program this summer. Grace’s sister, Gisla, also is a graduate of both FAU High and the University. She is currently working on a master’s degree in urban and regional planning. The girls’ father, Bobby Bush, started the family’s FAU tradition in 1986 when he received a degree in human resources.
During her time at FAU, Bush has been a part of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society that has helped her academically and socially, although she has faced some challenges during her time at the University.
“I am expected to excel in a way because people think since I’m 16, I’m supposed to be smarter than everyone else,” Bush said. “So I have to meet other people’s expectations.”
Bush began her studies at FAU as an English major, but moved her focus to criminal justice when law school became appealing. She also picked up a second major, music education, in the fall 2013 semester. Bush has been playing the flute for the past eight years, and performed as a part of the symphony band in March. As if that wasn’t a large enough workload, Bush also decided to minor in Spanish through FAU’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, as well.
Throughout her coursework, Bush has cultivated good relationships with her professors that she feels will benefit her in the future.
“Here at FAU, I have excelled a lot personally, emotionally, psychologically and academically,” she said. “I just feel that being able to be in this environment has just overall got me to excel as a person.”
Now that graduation has come and gone, Bush will take the summer off to study for the LSAT. However, she recently found out she received a full scholarship to earn a master’s degree in public administration from the School of Public Administration in FAU’s College for Design and Social Inquiry starting this fall. After she tackles that goal, Bush then will make a final decision in regards to attending law school, her top choice being University of Miami.
Her final goal – “I want to be the chief justice of the Supreme Court,” she said. “You have to look to the future and hope everything will be brighter, even if it’s not at the moment.”
Story is by FAU – Florida Atlantic University.