Attending Harvard University is an accomplishment no matter your age, but especially when you’re only 15 years old. Saheela Ibraheem was accepted into the esteemed university before her Sweet 16 after getting into 13 other colleges, including California Institute of Technology, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Williams College, Stanford, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington University in St. Louis.

The over-achiever often excelled beyond her years. She skipped 6th grade at Conackamack Middle School in Piscataway, New Jersey, and 9th grade at the private Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, New Jersey. Her accomplishments extend outside the classroom. She is a member of her school’s softball, soccer and swim teams and plays the trombone.

She credits her success to her Nigerian parents, who taught her subjects outside the school’s curriculum, and her own willingness to stay motivated: “I try my best in everything I do. Anyone who’s motivated can work wonders.”

Congrats, Saheela Ibraheem!


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  • Ms. Vee

    This young lady is truly an inspiration! She is the one that black parents should mention to their children when wanting them to look up to someone who positive, hardworking and undeterred by negative/false perceptions. I wish her all the success in life. :)

  • Black Excellence indeed!

    Love this!

  • Alfalfa

    Does she know what she’s studying? I’m surprised by her mix of schools. Caltech is so incredibly math/sci heavy that there are very few fields in which it and, say, Brown, are both good targets.

    But congrats to her! I go to one of the schools she applied to and had a 16 year old roommate as a freshman. Being here at 16 was sort of crazy for her, so I hope this girl has a successful, fun, and (relatively) calm year.

    • Mademoiselle

      I was a little surprised too. My first thought was I hope she had vouchers for all those applications because that sounded like an expensive achievement. And that led me to wonder what her educational/career goal might be. It turns out, she’s a STEM student, and her goal is to be a research scientist, studying the brain. I’m sure it felt wonderful to know so many schools want her. I hope she accomplishes much more.