Education

Meet Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu, Howard University Class of 2017’s 18-Year-Old Graduate

By  | 

Where were you at 18? Pondering what life would be like after high school? Gearing up to enter your freshman year into the college of your dreams? Preparing for the four-year journey that would lead you to the next stages of your life? Well, that was Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu four years ago. And back then, the academic titan was only 14.

This month (May 13), the 18-year-old accomplished a major feat by graduating from Howard University magna cum laude with a BS in Chemical Engineering. And it doesn’t stop there. Chidi-Ogbolu plans to sprinkle even more of her black girl magic across the University of California-Davis by pursuing her Ph.D.

“I feel good, proud and thankful, and I’m so excited for the next step,” Chidi-Ogbolu told Howard University’s The Hilltop Online.


Chidi-Ogbolu is originally from Nigeria where she went to primary school from first grade through fourth. From there, she was promoted to sixth grade and then went to school from the seventh through eleventh grade in a British education system. She graduated high school early at 14, after completing the eleventh grade.

Chidi-Ogbolu entered Howard University at the young age of 14. After word of her graduating from college at the age of 18 spread around Twitter like wildfire, Chidi-Ogbolu and her achievement garnered massive media attention. A lot of the attention actually took the young graduate by surprise because she didn’t view it as a big deal. She attributes earning her degree at young age (and graduating magna cum laude) to a lot of hard work and dedication.

“I never felt learning was age related. If you were taught the material and you’re serious about learning, you’ll be fine – regardless of your age,” she said. “I didn’t find courses any more difficult than the typical college student.”

As previously mentioned, Chidi-Ogbolu will pursue her doctoral degree at the University of California-Davis where she plans to study biomedical engineering starting this fall. Since the curriculum there is research-based, she feels it will be best for her career because she wants to work in medical research. From the program, she hopes to gain the necessary resources to bring change and alleviate health epidemics and illnesses back in her home country, Nigeria.

“I want to help fix illnesses like Ebola and other diseases – major or minor. I want to help people in Nigeria.”

With a soul and a mind as beautiful as hers, we have a feeling that Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu is on the path to do some incredible things in her lifetime!

Photo Credit: Nkechinyere Chidi-Ogbolu/Twitter

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.