Bowie State Grad Heading to Graduate School at Just 19 Years Old

Aliyah Bynoe Bowie State

A Bowie State University graduate is getting a big head start on her career.

Aliyah Bynoe claimed her degree at winter commencement Friday, just like more than 400 other students. Unlike the others, Bynoe is just 19 years old.

Bynoe graduated with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in communication.

“Most people are either starting college right now or going into their second year, and the fact that I’m like finishing with my bachelor’s is really exciting,” she said. “This is like the best birthday gift ever, because my birthday’s coming up really soon.”

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She enrolled at BSU as a junior in 2016 after earning a high school diploma and an associate’s degree through a dual learning program at York Early College Academy in Jamaica, New York.

Bynoe said she was drawn to the campus after a visit as a high school junior. She met the mentor she credits for her success at BSU on that visit — Dr. Otis Thomas, chair of the Department of Communications.

“She is committed to learning every ounce of information she can in the world of communications,” Thomas said. “She worked well under pressure and is a critical thinker. She always has a smile on her face.”

Bynoe focused on broadcast journalism, but she is heading straight to graduate school, where she plans on studying screenwriting and directing.