16-year-old Georgia student to graduate high school early after writing book at 11

Dollita Okine November 21, 2023
Photo: WJCL

Darrel Bryant, 16, is already on track to graduate from St. John Academy a year ahead of schedule. Bryant, who wrote his first book at the age of eleven, will soon be going to Savannah Technical College to study airplane assembly. After that, he will choose where to get his bachelor’s degree.

His anti-bullying book, “The Flower Nerd,” has since sold 350 copies. He was inspired to write it after witnessing a 10-year-old Colorado girl commit suicide due to bullying. Bryant is an honorary member of the National Society of High School Scholars and maintained a 4.0 GPA while attending school. 

A teacher at St. John Academy, Janice West, told WJCL, “I’ve known him since seventh grade. He’s now in 12th. I was excited for him [when they announced his early graduation]. Yeah, he deserves it. He’s worked hard, and he deserves to leave early.”

Shyann, his mother, stated that his determination astounds her. Bryant is a student, son, author, and role model for others around him. His cousin and math tutor, Tywana Barnes, said, “He’s always had that mindset to just always just be a go-getter. Always wants to do more, always wants to go above and beyond. Being average has never been a part of his character.”

Bryant had received approximately $600,000 in scholarships and invitations from colleges such as SCAD, Harvard, Yale, and Brown as of the beginning of November.

Explaining why he puts in so much hard work, Bryant said, “I want to be able to create an image for myself that shows who I am to others. I want to inspire other people to do great things.”

“You just have to make goals for yourself and just don’t mind what other people say. Oh, you can’t do that. You can’t do that.’ Yes, you can. Don’t let others degrade you or discourage you from your goals.”

Aside from his educational and entrepreneurial endeavors, Bryant enjoys playing video games, going outside, and creating stop-motion videos in his spare time. He does, however, spend most of his time studying and learning at home, and his teacher claims that this zeal to learn has had an impact on the other pupils.

“He’s going out, and he’s going to grab whatever it takes. And he loves reading. His fellow students have kind of piggybacked,” West remarked.

Despite being younger than his fellow students, he serves as an inspiration to them, as well as to his family, teachers, and mentors

“Anything is possible, just as long as you put your mind to it,” Bryant expressed.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: November 21, 2023


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