OGDEN — While most 15-year-olds are handling the challenges of high school, Jessica Brooke is preparing for medical school. The teen is a senior at Weber State University.
"It's kind of funny because I don't consider myself a prodigy, I don't at all," Jessica said. "I just think it's hard work and opportunities I've been given."
Always an "A" student at the charter school in her hometown of Gilbert, Ariz., Jessica's parents realized by the time she was 12 she was already too advanced for middle school. Community college was the answer.
It's kind of funny because I don't consider myself a prodigy, I don't at all. I just think it's hard work and opportunities I've been given.
–Jessica Brooke, WSU student
"So she took a placement test and got 100 (percent)," said Rachel Brooke, Jessica's mother. "They gave her a harder placement test, (and she) still did really well."
The family moved to Utah so that Jessica could attend Weber State. In her second semester she's carrying 17 credit hours, including chemistry, physics and music. Her professors are impressed.
"Jessica is a very inquisitive young woman," said Todd Johnson, professor of chemistry at Weber State. "I assumed she was probably 18, 19 years old until she told me that she was 15; and at that point I was a little shocked."
Most of Jessica's fellow students don't even know her age. She's just one of them, until there's an invitation to a party that has a minimum age requirement.
Jessica hopes to become a doctor. Her younger brother has a serious heart condition, and he is her inspiration.
"It's worth it to be able to learn something new each day," she said. "I'm loving it."
As Jessica ponders graduation, she's also looking ahead to medical school, and considering staying right here in the state of Utah.