Saheela Ibraheem: accepted to Harvard at 15, graduates at 20

There are few people who want to remember how they were at the age of fifteen. However, Saheela Ibraheem had already achieved one of the heights in her life. She was accepted at Harvard University, where she followed her very first classes when she was sixteen years old. Besides Harvard, Saheela was accepted at 12 other colleges, including MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Chicago. At Harvard, Saheela has been a member of the Harvard Islamic Society.


At that age she already had a brief moment of fame when she was part of the list ‘World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers.’ Now, four years later at the age of twenty she gets her degree in neurobiology. ‘She’s like the State Department and the National Institutes of Health all rolled into one. Young people like this inspire our future,’ as no less person than Obama said beautifully. At the start of the Black History Month in March she was invited to announce the President and the First Lady at the White House.

Difficulties she encountered as a young female student? She recalls getting into an argument in which a classmate wanted to know her actual age, she says in the Harvard Gazette. Besides that, she said that being too young to buy some cold medicines or to see R-rated movies were the most significant obstacles. After all these years of hard work Saheela is going to turn down the pace for a year without having made any specific plans.

Written by Ismail Eddegdag

Avatar photo

Ismail Eddegdag is 19 years old and studies Communication. He has an interest in travelling, current events, history, literature and foreign cultures.