UMES Graduate Finishes College at 19-Years-Old - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Graduate Finishes College at 19-Years-Old

Posted: May 25, 2018 4:47 PM Updated:

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Among the sea of 418 graduates at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's spring commencement ceremony sits one student, Vasavi Veerapaneni. Graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she's no ordinary student.

"I've got nothing but excitement right now," Veerapaneni explained, just hours before crossed the stage and becoming a UMES alumnus.

Because she's doing this all by the ripe age of 19.

"I guess I am a little young to be here today, but I made it," Veerapaneni said.

Veerapaneni and her family moved to the United States from India when she was only 8 years old.

She didn't feel completely comfortable with the English language until she was in high school. She finished up high school in three years, taking extra courses, including AP classes.

"I usually get the question 'did you miss going to prom?' I didn't go to prom, but I certainly do not regret it," Veerapaneni said.

Then it came time for college, securing a full ride to UMES, Veerapaneni was only 16 on her first day.

"I didn't think it was that big of a deal to be honest, but once I mentioned it to someone, they're like 'oh you're 16, you're a baby,' and I'm like, I'll take that as a compliment," Veerapaneni said.

But, her road to success doesn't come without support, her mother, father, sister, aunt, and friends all came out to support her on her graduation day. They sat proudly in the stands wearing big smiles, and cheering her name.

Veerapaneni's mother recalls the hard work she put into this accomplishment.

"She was so busy at the time, certain times staying up until 1 or 2 am. But finally made it and I'm so happy and very proud of her," Vijaya Narasilha said.

Her father explained the feeling that overcame him when he heard his youngest daughter's name being called out at graduation.

"I'm getting goosebumps. I'm just so proud. We are so proud to have a kid like that," Chandra Veerapaneni said.

The 19-year-old grad is currently a certified nursing assistant at PRMC. Veerapaneni plans to work there for a year, and then start applying to masters programs. She hopes to one day become a physician assistant.




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