While most 17-year-olds are contemplating which college they plan on attending in the fall, James Martin is thinking about where he wants to attend graduate school.
Martin, of Marimar, Fla., just received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Florida Atlantic University during a ceremony Tuesday. The baby-faced teen was by far the youngest graduate in his class of 1000 other students; he was also one of the most accomplished, finishing with a 3.9 GPA.
“James Martin, Suma Cum Laude,” the announcer said at the ceremony. That he is so young is a fact that does not elude the young scholar.
“It’s funny, because I have a really young face, so they all knew this kid doesn’t belong here,” Martin said. “They end up seeing you almost as a peer because you study like they do, you work like they do and at the same time, you’re interacting.”
While Martin is clearly a super-talented young man, his mother, who home-schooled him as a child, admits that her son was not always so studious. “His early years, he tended to be a little lazy,” Joan Martin said. “He daydreamed a lot and then, about 12 or 13, he started getting really serious.”
Martin was so serious that his improved habits landed him on FAU’s campus at 14-years-old. It was a successful journey that didn’t go without its challenging moments, however.
“It’s been some nights, man,” he said. “It’s been some nights where I’m just like, ‘Ugh!’”
While Martin is not sure of what his next steps will be, he does eventually want to pursue higher education.
“In a couple years, hopefully, I’ll be on my way to getting a PhD, and so that would be a tremendous blessing,” he said. “In another eight years, I’ll be a professor somewhere.”
Martin said he hopes to come back to South Florida and teach at FAU or the University of Miami after he receives his PhD.
Congratulations to another fine young man doing great things!