A North Carolina woman who started attending college when she was just 12-years-old recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at 23.

Julia Nepper was homeschooled for four years after her parents realized she was gifted at an early age. She began her higher education at Cape Fear Community College and went on to earn an associate’s degree at 14. She also obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington when she was 16.

“I’m so proud of her,” her mother, Nadine Nepper, told WECT News. “All that hard work has paid off. It’s hard to believe she was kept back in kindergarten that one year.” As for her future plans, Julia said she wants to try and get a job in Japan.

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