A Nigerian, Christine Izuakor has defied the odds to earn the right to be called Dr. Izuakor as she graduated with PhD in Security Engineering and became the youngest and first African American at her univeristy to do so.

Izuakor who graduated on December 16th 2016 also became the Vice President and co-founder of Gen Trend at United Airlines. She was published in numerous international journals, and traveled to 19 cities across 10 countries – all while working a full-time job on the cyber security team of a Fortune 100 company, in which she recently received a promotion.

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Her words; “I started my PhD program at age 23 and at the time was told I was too young, too naive and too inexperienced to contribute anything to my industry. But, I stood by my dream and turned doubt into motivation. To anyone who has been taught that it’s unrealistic to dream, I assure you that it’s indeed okay to dream big. With hard work and dedication, we can defy all odds and shatter ceilings. Dare to dream, and be brave enough to execute.”