13-year-old Aiken girl is graduating from high school and has scholarship offers from several colleges


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Caitlin Shirey’s parents realized they were dealing with a very early learner when she was a toddler, so they started home schooling her at age 2.

Now, the Aiken teenager is graduating from high school and has scholarship offers from three colleges.

This is the smiling face of Caitlin Shirey — doing the dual enrollment her senior year of high school at USC-Aiken. Her biology professor was so impressed she asked Caitlin to join her in her lab research!

“This upcoming fall semester and I’m really excited about that!”

Caitlin loves learning; she began reading and writing when she was just 2 years old. Here she is at age 4, doing two-digit subtraction … and creating an electrical circuit. This girl still loves math and science!

“I love math! And one day on my recommended page on YouTube I saw a heart transplant and I fell in love with it Just, I really wanted to have the feeling of holding a heart in my hand and saving people’s lives.”

And she’s well on her way to making that dream come true. Caitlin took the SAT at age 12!

Caitlin: It was very intimidating!

Jennie: Because you were in with a room full of people a lot older than you are?

Caitlin: Yes, I was. The youngest person I ever saw taking an SAT was a 16-year-old.

And has scholarship offers from Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and USC-Aiken.

“It was a really tough decision choosing between Clemson and USC-Aiken but I finally chose USC-A because I can stay at home and it won’t split the family up, cause I’m only 13, and I get to stay with friends!”

And even though Caitlin’s dual-enrollment year didn’t end the way she expected it would, she took 5 college courses… and racked up 17 hours credit! Her goal is to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon.


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