Ryland Dickman graduates from college before earning high school diploma

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 11:02 AM EDT
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EARLYSVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One Earlysville teen has achieved a whole different level of academic succes than most people his age. Ryland Dickman earned not one, but two diplomas by the age of 17.

“I had went to Northern Virginia Community College and I started in the fall of 2019,” Ryland said.

He then applied to Liberty University in Lynchburg, as their virtual programs worked well within his high school course load.

“I was able to transfer under the Virginia Community College transfers agreement to basically any university in Virginia and I decided upon Liberty because it they had robust online offerings and good academics,” said Ryland.

Ryland’s parents say he is a great student at home, too. He taught himself 9 languages including Hungarian, Portuguese and Italian. He decided to do this because he wants to travel, study and work overseas.

“I just can’t imagine the work load, I can’t imagine the work ethic. His energy is just, it’s amazing,” said Ryland’s dad, Jim Dickman.

His parents were always on board, despite how big his goals grew.

“We have just supported him in whatever he wanted to do. So when he said mom I’m going to sign up for classes at Northern Virginia Community College, I said can you do that? You’re in 10th grade,” said Latricia Dickman, Ryland’s mom.

After researching the programs, Ryland found that his idea could work simultaneous with his courses at The Covenant School. This led him to be the youngest graduate in Liberty’s class of 2021.

His mother and father say they are proud watching their son work toward his dreams.

“Don’t be afraid of taking a different path than other students might take. You’re able to take your own path and that’s something really beautiful,” Ryland said as advice to other students in a similar situation.

His next step looks like becoming an international business lawyer after obtaining his law degree in Italy.

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