Local 14-year-old graduates from high school

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Charleston Lee just graduated high school at just 14-years-old. This year, she's starting her junior year in college.

Charleston started both high school and Paine College when she was only 12-year-old but the road wasn’t easy.

“My mom says I have ADHD. Well, my pediatrician told me that because I just can't stay focused,” said Lee.

Charleston Lee has trouble sitting still but when it comes to math and reading, she's got no trouble at all.

“Reading, that's all I do. If you see me on my phone, I’m probably reading something,” said Lee.

She did so much reading, she surpassed her grade level, not once, not twice, but three times.

“I went from 6th to 9th grade,” said Lee.

While other high-schoolers were off doing whatever it is high school students do, Charleston was in the library with her nose in a book. In fact, she read every book her school had to offer.

All that learning on her own time meant she knew the material when class rolled around, which left her bored and sometimes that led to acting out

“I wasn't the class clown but I was the class clown. Like I wasn't funny but I was playing around,” said Lee.

So her mom took her love of learning and enrolled her in college.

“The social differences, it was a major social change. So I had to get used to it,” said Lee.

As one of Charleston's favorite teachers puts it, involving Charleston in something she was passionate about saved her from getting in trouble. It's a message any parent or student can take home.

“It's not just because she's trying to act out, but there's a reason I am bored and there's nothing else to do,” said Mary Jennings, an educator.

Charleston says she hopes to have her doctorate by the time she's 21 and she wants to be a software engineer for Google.