Saheela Ibraheem, 15, Headed To Harvard With Aspirations Of Becoming Scientist

Edison, N.J. Resident Also Accepted At Princeton, Columbia, MIT

EDISON, N.J. (CBS 2) — Many parents dream of their children going to Harvard one day. But one local resident has actualized the goal of getting into the prestigious university — at 15 years old!

Saheela Ibraheem, of Edison, was also accepted to MIT and 13 other schools, including Princeton and Columbia before settling on Harvard after falling in love with the campus.

Ibraheem skipped two grades and said the key to success is figuring out what you love to learn as early as possible — something she did at age 5.

“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,” Ibraheem told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

Her mother, Shakirat Ibraheem, said Saheela has been way ahead of the academic game since kindergarten — never cutting corners and trying to do everything on her own.

“She’s like always independent,” the teen’s mother said. “I never get to help with her homework because she’d say ‘it’s my work mommy, not yours.'”

The Harvard-bound teen speaks Arabic, Spanish and Latin. She said she hopes to become a research scientist and study the brain.

Ibraheem’s teachers at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School said their student was an old soul.

“I believe that she’s 15 years old, because I’m told that. But other than that I have a hard time,” Jim O’Halloran said.

In addition to academics, Ibraheem plays the trombone, softball and soccer. Despite her activities, Ibraheem said her number one priority was her family. Her 7-year-old brother Saleem was her biggest cheerleader when it came to picking a college.

“I was really psyched because she got into a great school and I wanted to go to Harvard, too,” her brother said.

As far as Ibraheem’s advice for her fellow aspiring students?

“Kids should try to listen to their parents most of the time. They know what they’re doing,” she said.

Please offer your thoughts on this amazing teenager in the comments section below.


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Comments

One Comment

  1. Akinkuade kunle Akinlabi says:

    When i read the news i went straight to internet to ask more about it, but to my greatest surprise it was TRUE. Then I was inspired YES I CAN. Keep it up Saheela. NIGERIA GOOD PEOPLE GREAT NATION

  2. NewGrad says:

    I really respect Saheela’s wonderful accomplishments and in particular her focus and determination. However, I hope I am not the only person deeply concerned for her moving forward. I see little from this article that distinguishes Saheela from most applicants to Ivy League schools, except for her age. Good grades, involvement in school sports, and even a perfect SAT are not extraordinary in this environment. In my opinion, a 15 year old should be exceptional in a way that far exceeds older applicants to merit a position at any of these schools. A very young girl like Saheela will need more than the normal tools to succeed in a very competitive environment while facing the enormous personal and social challenges of a world occupied almost exclusively by (older) young adults. True independence requires much more than the ability to do your own academic work. Even the 20-somethings at Ivy League schools often learn this the hard way. I worry that a girl who chose to apply to more schools at 15 than I did at 18 is showing a hunger for accomplishment that outpaces her maturity. Again, Saheela’s achievements are wonderful and should be praised and prized, but surely there are other, better opportunities for her to grow as she continues along her path.

  3. okonoboh williams says:

    MAY GOD GRANT ALL UR HEART DESIRES COS I KNOW GOD IS ALREADY WITH U, AND DAT IS WHY U ARE HEAR. MAY HE CONTINUE TO GUIDE IN ALL. STAY BLESSED IN JESUS NAME AMEN. AND AS GOD HAS DON IT FOR U ALSO MAY HE 2 DO IT FOR US 2 WITH DREAMS AND ASPIRATION AMEN

  4. VocMusTcrMaloy says:

    Well, so much for “The Bell Curve!”

  5. jimoh kamoli olawale says:

    is a great job done,she actually make me of being a Nigeria,am very happy for her,Good luck

  6. Lamine Diatta says:

    Saheela,
    You make America proud, proud of you being, at such young age, among the best students of this country of ours. Your integrity in wearing the hijab, show that you are a person of good characters and morals. All believing women, Christians, Jews and Muslims are ordered by GOD in their respective scriptures to wear it, but it seems to me only muslim women are the only ones applying the order of GOD.
    You make me feel proud about our country America, where people are not to tell you what or not what to wear like in France. I pray that Allah keeps you among his preferred ones, that He Guides you in your studies, and “ZAADAKA ALLAHOU ILMAAN YA SAHEELA” – MAY ALLAH INCREASES YOUR KNOWLEDGE OH SHAHEELA – And May Allah increase the knowledge of all young Americans like you – AMEEN.

  7. John says:

    another Nigerian shocks the world.
    #Proudly 9-ja#

  8. wilner says:

    congratulations Saheela! Your achievement is inspiring!
    May God bless you and your parents.

  9. Niran Adeyeri says:

    I was amazed when I read about her in the Nigerian Punch Newspapers yesterday before my son in Boston share this site with me. It is an inspiration to other teens. I wish to congratulate the parents for raising such a child.

Comments are closed.

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