14-year-old South Side native graduates with master's degree from Unity College

A 14-year-old from the South Side of Chicago just received her master's degree in environmental engineering. She credits the line of women in her family for her determination and love for academics.

Dorothy Tillman isn't your average teen who is looking forward to high school. At just 14, she's already graduated. This summer, Tillman received her master's degree from Unity College in Maine.

Tillman has put her environmental studies to work while cleaning parks in the South Side. She said that she always had an interest in the environment.

The teen credits her mother, Jimalita Tillman, as her motivating force. She also drew inspiration from her granny, Dorothy Jean Tillman, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., served as Alderman of the 3rd Ward and worked as a Civil Rights activist.

"She would capture information so quickly," said Jimalita Tillman.

Tillman took high school modules after school, and was able to stay home while getting her degree through distance learning programs.

The teen is currently working on a book about her life, as well as helping build STEM labs for girls in South Africa.