Local News

Goldsboro Girl, 13, Skips High School And Heads To College

Posted May 11, 2001 1:38 a.m. EDT

— At 13, most teenagers are more concerned with pimples and popularity than planning a career, but an eighth-grader in Goldsboro is way ahead of her young age.

Christian Peele is about to take a big step this summer, all the way from Greenwood Middle School in Goldsboro to college. She will barely be able to drive when she graduates.

"My career goal is to be a neo-natal physical therapist. Take care of babies," she says. "It is of the utmost importance to work hard and try your best because that's how you get where you want to be. That's how you succeed."

Peele's parents never finished college but she says she is succeeding because of a work ethic they have preached all her life.

"I couldn't just get by with anything, and I think a lot of it comes from them, from what they teach me, also from my environment, my peers,[and] my church," she says.

"I think one of the most important reasons that we always have instilled in her high standards is because of what came up in as the results of us right now, that we could have been better," says her mother, Mary Isolene Peele.

From the time Peele was conceived, her parents read to her every day.

"My wife would read the Bible to her everyday all day until the day that she was born, and then it just continued to grow," says Christian's father, Dennis Peele.

"I'm no brainiac, I'm no Albert Einstein. I just work hard, try hard, do what I'm supposed to do. Do my work, and be the best that I can be and it all comes, it all comes naturally for me," she says.

Peele will attend Mary Baldwin College in Stanton, Virginia. The school's "Program for the Exceptionally Gifted" is open only to girls ages 13 through 17.