Madisonville teen to become Sam Houston State University’s youngest graduate

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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Madisonville, Texas (KBTX) - Nehemiah Juniel has several hobbies like most 15-year-olds, like spending time outside and playing the piano.

“Playing games around the house with everyone else around here, playing with my siblings, talking with them,” Nehemiah said.

He also loves a challenge, so he taught himself how to play piano by ear and has done some programming. By 5 years old, he was doing prealgebra, and received his Associate’s of Science degree at 13.

“From a young age, I’ve been very interested in learning anything,” Nehemiah said. “I’ve always been curious, and I want to know about this.”

At 15, he’ll graduate from Sam Houston State University with his bachelor’s degree in health sciences in August. Nehemiah will be the youngest student to ever graduate from the university, a title he never expected.

I have no idea where the time went…. But I have a 15 year old graduating!!! BS in Health Sciences with a 3.7 GPA, and ready to tackle the MCAT for Med School!! ALL GLORY BELONGS TO GOD!!

Posted by Corie Monique Juniel on Thursday, June 2, 2022

“Really, I was just taking whatever classes I needed to graduate,” Nehemiah said. “I wasn’t really thinking of ‘wow, I’m gonna be the youngest student to graduate from Sam Houston.’”

Before attending college, Nehemiah was homeschooled by his parents, who said they are not surprised by his accomplishments.

“He’s been driving this educational goal since he started, so it’s not us pushing him to do anything,” Nehemiah’s mother Corrie Juniel said. “It’s actually him pushing us so he can be great.”

Faith and family support have been key to Nehemiah’s success. His parents said they’ve never let age hinder him or their other six children.

“The main thing is just put your best foot forward regardless of whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability,” Nehemiah’s father Raphael Juniel said.

The 15 year old is far from done. He’ll soon start studying for the MCAT to pursue his dream of becoming a cardiologist. Nehemiah wants to inspire others to go after their dreams no matter their age.

“Don’t get discouraged if you run into a few issues or if you fail a couple of times, because as long as you keep trying, you will eventually reach your goal,” Nehemiah said.

As a graduation gift, Nehemiah wants to travel down Route 66. If you’d like to help him get there, click here.

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