LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Four years after he arrived in the United States from the African country of Cameroon, Larry Bless Lyonga Jr. achieved his goal of graduating high school—at just 16 years old.
“It’s just awesome,” the Bryan Station High School graduate said. “I'm just filled with like unending joy. I have no idea when this joy is going to end, but I hope I have it my entire life.”
The joy was palpable Thursday as seniors from three more high schools in Lexington received their diplomas at Rupp Arena.
“As a single mom I'm really so happy,” said Dr. Lois Ekwe, Lyonga’s mother.
Lyonga, who is gearing up to study engineering in college next Fall, graduated early by taking advantage of the opportunity to take summer classes. He also said he was able to combine Sophomore and Junior year semesters into one year.
“I exceeded my expectations because I never thought the combined junior and sophomore year would work,” Lyonga said. “But it turned out good.”
The pandemic complicated matters even more, forcing Lyonga and his classmates to adapt to virtual learning. But Lyonga said his determination never wavered.
“First step was know what you want,” he said. “Second step: do what you have to do to get what you want. And third step, have fun while doing it.”