Nehemiah Juniel is set to make history at Sam Houston State University by being its youngest graduate at age 15.
Juniel will receive his bachelor’s degree in health sciences in August, according to Click 2 Houston. The outlet notes that the teenager is a master pianist and at age 5, “he was doing pre-algebra and received his Associate of Arts degree at 13 years old,” the outlet writes.
“Words can’t express how proud we are of him,” Raphael Juniel, the boy’s father, said, according to the report.
“Nehemiah was reading and writing at two. So, we always knew this kid was special,” said Nehemiah’s mother Corie Juniel.
Nehemiah was home-schooled by his parents “along with his sister, who will also graduate ahead of schedule from SHSU in the fall at 19 years old,” per the report.
“The sky is the limit,” Corie said. “We never focused on what grade [Nehemiah] was in.”
“‘Can’t,’ was like a curse word in our house,” Raphael said. “That came from my grandfather.”
The family decided on Sam Houston State University “because of their great efforts to work with the family,” per the outlet.
“Financial aid spent hours with us to get Nehemiah’s award package worked out. They went the extra mile when speaking with the Federal Student Aid office, and were the most patient, resilient staff we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Corie. “With my husband being a veteran, we used his Hazelwood benefits, and the Veterans Resource Center walked us through the process.”
Nehemiah admits that his educational journey so far has been met with great challenges.
“The biggest challenge was staying focused. It was especially difficult when the course material was uninteresting or something I already knew,” Nehemiah said. “I often needed encouragement from others to put effort into such work before I put myself back on track again. My professors and teaching assistants were the most positive aspect of my experience at SHSU.”
According to the report, Nehemiah will study for the MCAT as he dreams of one day working as a cardiologist.
“Around the age of 8 years old, I decided I wanted to become a surgeon of some sort,” Nehemiah said. “As I grew, I continued to change and specify what kind of career I wanted to pursue. This culminated in my decision to study cardiology.”
Nehemiah hopes to inspire others to not get discouraged while pursuing 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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