How a 15-Year-Old Girl Got into Harvard (And MIT, Columbia & Princeton Too!)

Harvard Bound at 15

I don’t know about you, but when I think of a 15-year-old girl I think of a giddy, goofy, adolescent who if more interested in Bieber than binomial coefficients.  It’s an age where most are more interested in learning the fine art of makeup than modular equivalence rules or what to wear on Friday then on finding out more about forensics. But Saheela Ibraheem, of Edison, New Jersey? She is not that girl. Saheela Ibraheem is all about school, scholastics and learning. So much so that she not only surpassed her peers intellectually but she’s has proved a mental might stronger than most grown adults. This 15-year-old old will be going to Harvard. And not when she 18, she’s going in the fall. And this wasn’t just some anomaly; she had her choice of schools. She was accepted to MIT, Princeton and Columbia as well as eleven other schools. But she has opted to attend Harvard in the fall. So how did she do it?

You know her grades had to be more than perfect and she probably nailed the SATs. Her mother said she knew “what direction her life would take” when her daughter was just five-years-old. Saying that, “She’s like always independent. I never get to help with her homework because she’d say “it’s my work mommy, not yours””. As she went though school, Saheela skipped two grades, grades sixth and ninth. Saheela also speaks Arabic, Spanish and Latin, plays the trombone, sings, and plays softball and soccer. And her end game? Her plans are to become a research scientist and she would like to study the brain, which is apt since she has a pretty good one!

Saheela credits figuring out what you love to do early on is key saying, “if you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about most of these things, especially with math and science, it will work out well.”  Her advice for other youngsters? “Kids should try to listen to their parents most of the time. They know what they’re doing.”

Do you think 15-years-old is too young to go to college and especially a higher competitive school like Harvard? Would you sent your child to college that young if they had the opportunity?

Photo: Flickr

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