A 16-year-old Nigerian girl, whose name has
been buzzing and setting headlines lately as a promising
talent, has reserved a place among “The World’s 50
Smartest Teenagers” list.
“If you are passionate about what you do, and I am
passionate about many things, especially math and
science, it will work out well,” Saheela Ibraheem,
who lived in Edison, New Jersey, was quoted as
saying in The Best Schools website, which
announced her title.
The young girl, only 16, made it to headlines earlier
this year when she was accepted into Harvard
University, making her one of the youngest students
ever to attend that school.
Making a record in the US, Saheela was accepted at
13 other colleges, including prestigious MIT, the
University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown,
Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Chicago.
In the end, Saheela chose Harvard, based on her
seven-year-old brother’s advice who also dreams of
being admitted to Harvard.
Saheela believes the key to success is knowing
what you love to learn as early as possible, a
knowledge she says she achieved at age five.
Known as polite and humble, the Muslim prodigy
said that her Nigerian parents, totally supportive of
the young scholar, sometimes taught her subjects
the schools didn’t offer.
The teen is also interested in languages, and knows
Yoruba, Arabic, Spanish, and Latin, in addition to
Offering a role model to her colleagues, Saheela,
who dons the Islamic veil, or hijab, plays softball,
soccer, and the trombone.
She also sings in the school choir and serves as
president of the school’s investment club.
The promising girl plans to major in either
neurobiology or neuroscience, and hopes to become
a scientist in order to study how the brain works.
Despite her activities, she said her number one
priority was her family.
“I try my best in everything I do,”Saheela said,
confirming that there is nothing special about her
“Anyone who’s motivated can work wonders.”