Faces of Black Excellence July 21, 2022 at 05:30 pm

At 15, Nehemiah Juniel becomes youngest graduate at Sam Houston State University in Texas

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor July 21, 2022 at 05:30 pm

July 21, 2022 at 05:30 pm | Faces of Black Excellence

Nehemiah Juniel. Photo: Sam Houston State University

Nehemiah Juniel is making history at Sam Houston State University. On August 6, the 15-year-old will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, making him the youngest student to ever graduate from Sam Houston State University, a statement from the university said.

Like most 15-year-olds, Juniel likes to spend time outside with his friends or play the piano. He taught himself how to play piano by ear. At just five years old, he was doing prealgebra and at 13, he received his Associate’s of Science degree.

But becoming a full-time college student at Sam Houston came with a few challenges. “The biggest challenge was staying focused. It was especially difficult when the course material was uninteresting or something I already knew,” he said. “I often needed encouragement from others to put effort into such work before I put myself back on track again.”

Before college, Juniel was homeschooled by his parents. “He’s been driving this educational goal since he started, so it’s not us pushing him to do anything. It’s actually him pushing us so he can be great,” Juniel’s mother Corrie Juniel told KBTX News. 

Juniel is now getting ready to start studying for the MCAT to pursue his dream of becoming a cardiologist. “Around the age of eight years old, I decided I wanted to become a surgeon of some sort. As I grew, I continued to change and specify what kind of career I wanted to pursue. This culminated into my decision to study cardiology,” he said.

The 15-year-old has advised others to always follow their dreams.

“Don’t get discouraged if you run into a few issues or if you fail a couple of times. As long as you keep trying, you will eventually reach your goal,” he said.

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