At an age when most teenagers are still in high school, Taida Drucilla Mapara is already pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor. The 14-year-old prodigy from Zimbabwe is enrolled in the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery program at the University of Malawi College of Medicine , making her one of the youngest medical students in Africa.
Taida Mapara, the eldest of three sisters, overcame numerous challenges on her educational journey, showcasing exceptional resilience and intelligence. Despite facing financial constraints that led to a year of homeschooling, she eventually enrolled at Maranatha Junior School in 2012. Taida’s family later relocated to Ghana in 2016, where her academic prowess swiftly earned her recognition, resulting in an advancement to Grade Seven. Her exceptional performance in Grade Seven exams led to her being the top student.
Returning to Zimbabwe in 2019, Taida joined Hilbright Science College, demonstrating her commitment to education. Despite the mid-year enrollment, she impressed the school, leading to a swift progression to Advanced Level exams. Excelling in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Biology, Taida’s academic journey culminated in remarkable success in the IGCSE program, where she achieved four A+ grades, five A’s, and a B. Her journey took a pivotal turn when, in 2020, she enrolled in the College of Medicine in Malawi to pursue her dream of studying medicine.
Taida says she has always been fascinated by the human body and its functions, and she wants to use her knowledge and skills to help others. She is especially interested in cardiology, and hopes to specialize in this field in the future. She also enjoys reading, writing, playing chess, and learning new languages. She speaks English, Shona, Ndebele, French, and Mandarin.
Taida’s parents, the father an engineer and the mother a primary school teacher, have been supportive of her academic pursuits and encouraged her to follow her passion. They say they are proud of their daughter’s achievements, but they also want her to have a balanced life and enjoy her childhood. They help her cope with the challenges and pressures of being a young medical student in a competitive environment.
Taida says she is grateful for the opportunity to study medicine and to learn from her professors and peers. She admits that it is not easy to keep up with the demanding curriculum and to fit in with older students, but she is determined to overcome any obstacles and to excel in her studies. She says she does not feel different from other students, and she tries to make friends and have fun whenever she can.
Taida’s story is an inspiration to many people, especially young girls who aspire to pursue careers in science and medicine. She says she wants to be a role model for them and to show them that anything is possible with hard work, dedication, and passion. She also hopes to contribute to the development of her country and to improve the health care system in Zimbabwe.
14-Year-Old Prodigy Secures $1.4M in Scholarships to study Computer Science Across 14 US Universities. Curtis Lawrence III is not your average teenager. He is a gifted scholar who has achieved remarkable feats at a very young age. He graduated from high school at 14, enrolled in college at 16, and got accepted to 14 prestigious universities, including several Ivy League schools. He also won more than $1.4 million in scholarships and is set to become a computer scientist.
Curtis was born with a passion for learning and a curiosity for the world. He started reading at the age of two and took his first SAT test at 10. He excelled in math and science and developed an interest in biology and computer science.
He attended the School Without Walls High School in Washington, D.C., where he took advantage of the Early College Program that allowed him to take college-level courses at George Washington University (GWU) while still in high school. He earned an associate degree from GWU in May 2022, making him the youngest graduate in the university’s history.
He also applied to 14 universities across the country and received acceptance letters from all of them. Some of the schools that offered him admission were Harvard, Yale, Howard, Morehouse, Hampton, North Carolina A&T, University of California Berkeley, and University of Chicago.
He chose to attend Florida A&M University (FAMU), a historically black university in Tallahassee, Florida, where he received a full scholarship and a spot in the Honors Program. He enrolled in FAMU in August 2022 as a junior majoring in biology and computer science. Continue reading about Curtis here.