This 24-Year-Old Graduated With MBA And Law Degree On The Same Day – BOTWC


This 24-Year-Old Graduated With MBA And Law Degree On The Same Day

This 24-Year-Old Graduated With MBA And Law Degree On The Same Day


Photo credit: Jahbrielle Henning-Rayford 

As we continue to recognize demonstrations of Black excellence across the country this graduation season, 24-year-old Darrell Kelly of Cincinnati, Ohio has ‘raised the proverbial bar’ yet again! On May 12th, Kelly graduated with both a law degree and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and Xavier University, respectively.

Kelly has been excelling academically over the years and was also a gifted athlete, competing in football, basketball, soccer. He graduated from high school at age 16 and eagerly left Ohio to attend Howard University. "It (was) time for me to stand and leave the nest… She's instilled me with all these tools and has guided me for so long," Kelly shared when asked about leaving for college at such an early age.

While at Howard, Kelly first learned of a unique program that would allow him to earn both his MBA and a law degree simultaneously. After learning that The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University also hosted a similar program, he decided to return home to participate in this unique partnership that would yield him both degrees that he aspired to earn.

Photo via: WCPO-TV

In addition to completing two very demanding curriculums, Kelly also held down two-part time jobs: one as a legal extern and the other as a graduate assistant at Xavier. Even after learning that his nearing graduation ceremonies would both be held on the same day, Kelly didn’t hesitate to attempt to be present for both ceremonies if he was physically able to do so. After literally racing from one ceremony to the other, Kelly and his family were indeed able to attend and celebrate all of his accomplishments at both events.

As the youngest child in a single-parent home, Kelly credits much of his success to the support and love provided to him over the years from his mom, Lisa Kelly. “I was born to five generations of love, and I passed that on to them," said mom, Kelly. "If he's tall, it’s because he's standing on tall shoulders. He’s big because of the village, because of the friendships. He grew up with love."

Photo credit: Jahbrielle Henning-Rayford

Kelly's accomplishments are indicative of the value that his whole family has always placed on education. His mother and all of her siblings all attended college and some even completed graduate degrees. His older sister, Jazmone’, is currently in medical school and his grandmother even went back to college at the age of 73 to complete her bachelor’s degree. It’s clear that aspiring to greatness and relentlessly pursing one's dreams definitely runs in the family. 

 Congratulations, Darrell and best wishes on all of your future endeavors!