17-year-old from Newark, New Jersey, earns high school diploma and two-year associate's degree simultaneously

NEWARK, N.J. (WABC) — Adrian Ottah spends a lot of time on the computer – and he doesn't play video games. At 17, he simultaneously earned a high school diploma and a two-year associate's degree from college.

“My real motivation was my parents, my immigrant parents. I know they didn't have the opportunity to do that. So when I had the opportunity, I just grabbed it and took advantage of it,” says Ottah.

Ottah's parents moved from Nigeria to New Jersey several years before his birth. They moved here for the same reason so many continue to come.

“For greener pastures. I heard, America, you could live your dream, I said, okay, let me see that dream,” said Ottah's mother, Miriam Watson.

Ottah attends University High School in Newark and offers a program where college professors come to the school and teach college-level courses to some students.

Ottah earned 60 college credits in this program after countless, endless days. He says the college courses are more difficult, but not too difficult for him.

“I am graduating with a GPA above 3.0 in a college class while juggling high school classes, and I have a 3.5 in high school,” Ottah said.

Still, his mother understands that her son's achievement is extraordinary.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m at a loss for words – I’m so proud of him,” she says.

Ottah says he wants to honor his parents' sacrifice and change his family's ark in a single generation. With all the college credits he's already earned in high school, he could graduate college by the age of 19.

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