CHICAGO (CBS) — Raven Osborne hasn’t finished high school yet, but a week before she gets her diploma in May, she’ll be graduating from Purdue University Northwest with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Osborne, a senior at 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana, has been taking college classes since she was 14.

“She’s the first student in the history of Indiana to actually earn a bachelor’s degree before receiving her high school diploma,” said Kevin Teasley, president and CEO of Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation, which runs 21st Century Charter School. “I believe she might also be the first high school student to actually earn an associate’s degree while being in high school at the age of 16.”

Teasley said Osborne is just one example of how the charter school pays college tuition for students who earn admission to partner colleges while still in high school. He said college tuition costs are a small price to pay to help Gary students succeed.

“Frankly, we’re breaking the cycle of poverty. That’s what it’s really all about,” he said.

Osborne already has a job lined up for after graduation. Teasley has hired her to work at 21st Century’s elementary school as an early interventionist.

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