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Meet the 17-year-old who is one of the youngest graduates from the University of Houston

HOUSTON – A 17-year-old girl is capping off the year by walking across the stage and we are not talking about high school. Salenah Cartier is one of the youngest people to graduate from the University of Houston.

“It’s been a dream come true,” Cartier said.

Cartier always knew she picked up things faster than other kids. Now, she’s adding college graduate to the list.

“I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston. I also received my Minor in Human Development and Consumer Sciences and I also received a certificate from Corporate Entrepreneurship as well,” Cartier said.

She was reading by 2 years old and then doing complicated math at age 4. By 7 years old, Cartier was in the 8th grade. Then at 14, she started taking dual college courses. She said one key to her success: homeschool.

“Homeschooling gave me the platform and opportunity to accelerate at my own rate,” she said.

Cartier said women like Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris serve as an inspiration.

“Her entire political career has shown me that anything is possible and that women belong in all spaces,” she explained.

The University of Houston was the perfect choice

The University of Houston campus has been a great place for her because the staff is welcoming and many of the students are her friends. Another reason she chose U of H -- the influence of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“Him being a Houston native, going to Harvard, and coming back to Houston to serve in the community -- and I hope to follow in his footsteps one day.”

Houston proud and hoping to be a mentor for other students.

“I hope my experience allows other students to know that anything is possible,” Cartier said. “I hope to inspire other students that it’s never too late or too early to pursue a dream or goal.”

Cartier said she would consider running for President of the United States in the future. For now, she’s starting a masters of education program in the spring at the University of Houston. She hopes to begin a Ph.D. program in the fall.

Correction:This story has been corrected to reflect that Cartier will be attending the University of Houston in the spring.


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