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It takes a village: 17-year-old graduate with a degree in Molecular Biology

grad It takes a village: 17 year old graduate with a degree in Molecular Biology

Martin entered Florida Atlantic University (FAU) at the age of 14

It takes a village: 17-year-old graduate with a degree in Molecular Biology

By Dr. Tyra Seldon

     As an education advocate, I often encounter the worse aspects of the American K-12 educational system—school closings, failed educational policies, disenfranchised students, poverty, and a lack of parental involvement. What these stories mask is a narrative that is often downplayed by mainstream media: Many young African-American youth are excelling academically.

James Martin of Miramar, Florida is one such young man. After being homeschooled by his mother, he entered Florida Atlantic University (FAU) at the tender age of 14.

Just three years later, he earned enough credits to walk joyfully across the stage at FAU’s August graduation ceremony.

At an age when most young men are entering the last years of their high school tenure, the 17-year-old earned his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology with a 3.9 grade point average.

In a recent interview with Florida’s WPTV, he excitedly recounted his experiences at FAU: “It’s funny because I have a really young face, so they all knew this kid doesn’t belong here.”

In the same interview, his mother recalled how her son took a keen interest in his studies around the age of 12. Prior to that, she said that he would often daydream during their lessons, but she did not give up on him or downplay his potential for academic excellence. Once James decided to focus on his work, he blossomed into a young scholar.

Rather than resting on his laurels, James Martin has decided to further his studies and attend graduate school.

He proudly proclaimed: “In a couple of years, hopefully I’ll be on my way to getting a Ph.D., so that would be such a tremendous blessing. Then another eight years, I’ll be a professor somewhere.” Of course, we wish the future Dr. James Martin much success with his educational endeavors.

James Martin’s story is emblematic of the penchant for excellence that many of our youth have. When equipped with the necessary tools for success, their potential is limitless.

     It Takes a Village is a series of articles on the Your Black World Network that inspire, educate, and emancipate our readers. If you have a story that you would like to share, contact us at:





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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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