SAHEELA IBRAHEEM: One Amongst the World’s Smartest Girls

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Nigerian Harvard graduate Saheela Ibraheem was in 2013 honoured with an official reception in the White House by the US President, Barack Obama and the First Lady, Michelle.


Ms. Ibraheem visited President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in the Green Room of The White House. She introduced them at a reception celebrating #BlackHistoryMonth in the United States.

Nigerian girl listed among 'The World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers1

President Obama said Saheela got into Harvard at the age of 15, speaks four languages, studying neurobiology and listed among the “World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers.”

A recent ranking by of The World’s 50 Smartest Teenagers has identified smart and inspiring teenagers around the world. Read the profile of this wonderful Nigerian below.





At just 15 years old, Saheela Ibraheem was accepted into Harvard University, which makes her among the youngest students ever to attend that school. But that’s not the most impressive part, Saheela was accepted at 12 other colleges, including MIT, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Chicago. In the end, Saheela chose Harvard.

Saheela’s Nigerian parents, totally supportive of the young scholar, sometimes taught her subjects the schools didn’t offer. Saheela believes the key to success is knowing what you love to learn as early as possible, a knowledge she says she came to at age five. “If you are passionate about what you do, and I am passionate about many things, especially math and science, it will work out well.” The teen is also interested in languages, and knows Yoruba, Arabic, Spanish, and Latin, in addition to English.

On the lighter side, Saheela plays softball, soccer, and the trombone. She also sang in the school choir and served as president of the school’s investment club. She has a SAT score of 2,340 SAT (a perfect 800 on the math section, a 790 in writing and a 750 in reading). Saheela plans to major in either neurobiology or neuroscience, and hopes to become a scientist in order to study how the brain works.

As for her own brain, Saheela claims she is nothing special. “I try my best in everything I do,” Saheela said. “Anyone who’s motivated can work wonders.” She has been able to prove that impossibility is nothing.

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