Shania Muhammad from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is now America’s youngest full-time salaried teacher at age 16. Muhammad, who holds three degrees, is teaching the third grade at a school in her hometown, according to Blacknews.com.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Child Development alongside two associate degrees she earned from Oklahoma City Community College and Langston University when she was 14. Muhammad also went through two years of National Teachers Professional Development Training through the Thurgood Marshal Foundation, the outlet added. This is to enable her to pursue her passion for teaching.
“I’m super proud of my daughter for being bold and brave and stepping out on her faith and into her purpose,” her father, Elijah, said. “She doesn’t allow people’s opinions of her to dictate the reality of her dreams and passions.”
Muhammad recalled in a recent interview with KOCO that as early as eight years old, her family started preparations for her to complete college.
“I didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, Dad, sign me up for college,’” Muhammad said to the news station. “There were levels before I even got to this point.”
While many children were still going through middle school in the U.S., Muhammad completed her high school education and earned associate’s (or two-year) degrees from Langston and Oklahoma City Community College before taking steps towards a bachelor’s.
In May, Muhammad graduated from Oklahoma’s Langston University with a bachelor of arts degree as well as a 4.0 grade-point average which was the highest in her class. She said at the time that she would like to pursue a career in public speaking and publish a book about her school experience titled Read, Write, Listen: 13 in College.
“My biggest thing is … just spreading my story,” Muhammad told KOCO. “Showing others, ‘Trust me, it’s possible.’”
Muhammad has often said that although people may only see her as the brainy teen, she still revels in the little joys of life like skating, hanging out with her dad, and just enjoying nature.