Brianna Wallis, an eighth grader at Galion Middle School, just completed her eighth class at North Central State College. The 13-year-old plans to complete her associate’s degree at NC State while dual enrolled at Galion High School.
The daughter of Cindy and Donnie Wallis, Bri began taking college classes at 11.
“She was attending the Rising Stars summer camp at the Kehoe Center in Shelby and Randy Storms (camp director and assistant professor of technology) asked to talk to me,” Cindy Wallis recalls. “He said he was very impressed by Bri. During the camp, the kids had been asked to build windmills and do some math problems related to wind velocity and other things. He was amazed at how well Bri did.”
Cindy Wallis said the college administrators were very helpful in the enrollment process. “At one point we talked to (former) President (Don) Plotts and he said, ‘Let’s make it happen.’ Every obstacle was resolved.”
Wallis began by taking evening classes at the NC State campus in Mansfield. “My mom or dad would drive me over and then wait on me,” Wallis said. “My mom used to sit across the hall from the class I was in. My first class was a math class, and I loved it.”
Wallis has her eyes focused on medicine as a career. “I want to finish my associate’s degree with North Central, possibly in bioscience. Then, get a bachelor’s degree through Ohio State,” she said. “I want to eventually go into pediatric oncology.”
“I love math because there’s only one right answer. In science, there can be many possible answers,” she said. “In advanced math, I love working with triangles, but circles are not my thing.”
The 13-year-old said the other college students and the NC State faculty have been welcoming. “They’re amazed when they learn how old I am, but they’ve been great,” she said.
In April, Wallis was recognized for her academic success by being inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at NC State. Phi Theta Kappa is the official honor society for two-year colleges.