Student:

Aurora Brann.

School:

La Salle University in Philadelphia, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology on May 11. She minored in French and religion.

Achievement:

Brann, of Abington, graduated from La Salle at age 19, the youngest woman in the university's history, said spokeswoman Amy Gardner Cranston, who also said the university cannot confirm the age of the youngest male graduate because the school's history dates back to 1863, and records regarding age are not complete. The university became co-educational in 1970.

Brann completed ninth grade at Abington Junior High school. She entered La Salle as a freshman at age 15, after earning a GED.

Currently, Brann is a substitute teacher at Wordsworth Academy in Fort Washington, a school that assists students with behavioral or learning needs. She also will work in Wordsworth's summer school program.

Question:

In retrospect, was entering college at 15 the best decision?

Answer: Going to a university early was a life-changing decision. It wasn't easy and given the chance to do it again, I truly don't know if I would.

However, I feel that because of my experiences, I am a stronger and more capable human being than I may have been otherwise. I am satisfied with my decisions so far.

Q:

When did you first realize that you were academically ahead of your middle-school peers?

A: There was no revelation. When I was younger, I was shy and bright and worked much faster than my peers.

I just always knew that something about me was different.

Q:

What prompted you to apply to colleges at 14?

A: The inspiration for me to go off to college so young was my mother. She has always been someone who insisted that whatever you want to do can be achieved, and she always was there to encourage my dreams.

Q:

Were you on board with the idea?

A: Yes. I feel the need to point out that this was not a case of overambitious parents forcing a child into excessive and unnecessary scholastic achievement.

My opinion and thoughts on the matter were heard and in fact, counted as the final word. I decided to go with this new idea and go to college.

Q:

Why did you choose La Salle?

A: I chose LaSalle for practical reasons; it was close to home and the only school that accepted me. I only applied for two!

Q:

Did you live at home, or on campus? How did you get to school?

A: I lived at home for my first three years. At first my mother drove me in, and then later I took the bus.

Eventually I got my license and was allowed to drive myself. I moved on campus my last year, in hopes of having the "authentic" college experience.

Q:

Why did you major in psychology?

A: As I delved into my studies, I discovered that I was absolutely fascinated with the inner working of humans. I became enraptured by the possibilities for variation in each individual person.

Q:

Now that you're working at Wordsworth, what about the work there do you find rewarding?

A: These children need special care and attention. I enjoy being able to set consistent boundaries for them, allowing them some sort of structure on which to base their lives. I like being someone they can count on.

Q:

Do you plan to go to graduate school?

A: I certainly want to further my education. I am hoping to resume my studies within a year or so.

What an educator says:

"I was clued in about Aurora's age before she started my class," said Diana Regan, a French instructor at La Salle.

"I think she was determined to fit in with the other students and to not make her age a factor. Her personality really helped her fit in with the other students - she's a very mature, charismatic, fun-loving young woman."

- Erica Lamberg