CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- At just 10 years old, Linda Pistun from Gainesville is completing eight college credits at the University of Virginia this summer. 

Pistun is not quite like your average 10-year-old. Not only is she beginning high school in just a few weeks, but she is also a published author with big dreams ahead. 

"I want to be an astrophysicist who works for NASA because I love astronomy, physics, chemistry and mathematics, and astrophysics is all those things combined,” she said.

This summer, Pistun is participating in UVA’s Summer Language Institute, taking Mandarin Chinese classes remotely from her home in Gainesville. 

The two-month program meets five days a week for up to seven hours a day. The goal is to fit two semesters' worth of material into two months, earning the students eight credits. 

“I really wanted to try a college class here and I heard about it online. I knew it would help me get more enrichment for Mandarin, I could learn a lot and I already know UVA is a great school,” Pistun said.

While enrolled in this rigorous class, Pistun also was working to put the final touches on her children’s book. Her book, "Linda’s Mysterious Footprints," is a story she began writing when she was only six and she first started researching carbon emissions.

“So, I ended up thinking, why not turn this into a book. I edited it some more, got a publisher, got an editor, and got an illustrator. Now it’s going to be published on the 15th,” Pistun said.

To learn more about Pistun's accomplishments and order her book, visit