New Brunswick

15-year-old high school graduate from Moncton gets ready for university

Lina Alqadi is basking in the joy of graduating from high school, like many other students around the province. But unlike other high school grads, Alqadi is just 15 years old.

Lina Alqadi graduated from École L'Odyssée and plans on becoming a doctor

Lina Alqadi, 15, graduated from high school and is on her way to university in the fall. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

Like other graduates, Lina Alqadi is still basking in the joy of graduating from high school.

Unlike other graduates, Alqadi is only 15 years old.

"The day of my graduation, I think, I was very emotional ," Alqadi said. "So [were] my parents.

"I was shocked but I was very proud to see the fruits of my hard work blossom, as I won the Governor General academic award, while being the youngest graduate in the province at 15 years old. So it was a very nice, nice day."

The École L'Odyssée student was able to skip the last semester of Grade 8 and the first semester of Grade 9. In Grade 9, she took Grade 10 math.

"There had to be a social adaptation of course, but I was very happy that I was able to skip," she said.

Alqadi says she made many friends in different grades and is grateful for the experience.

She plans on attending the University of Moncton in the fall to study health sciences, followed by medicine.

Mohammad Alqadi, 17, also graduated from high school at the age of 15. But he says his sister Lina, 15, beat him by a month to be the youngest graduate. (Kate Letterick/CBC News)

Alqadi said she realized the importance of health care when she was young and her grandparents were sick.

"I started realizing I wanted to help people by being a doctor, but also as I grew up I started taking science classes and I realized I had a huge interest in the function of the human body, so it's really because of both of these reasons I want to go into medicine." she said.

Lina isn't the only high achiever in the Alqadi family.

Her older brother Mohammad, 17, is finishing his health sciences degree and has been accepted at the University of Sherbrooke to study medicine.

Mohammad also graduated from high school at 15, but said his sister beat him by one month to be the youngest graduate.

"For me I didn't really think about it too much at the time," he said. "For me it was about pushing myself, trying new things, learning new things. I never really thought, "Oh, I'm a 15-year-old going to university."

There could be more early graduations in the Alqadi family's future. Lina, 15, and Mohammad, 17, have two younger sisters, Sara, 7, and Aleen, 5. The children are pictured here with their parents, Eman Ibraheem and Ali Alqadi, at their home in Moncton. (Kate Letterick/CBC News )

He's proud of his sister.

"It's really nice ever since we were little playing together, teasing each other, and really as her older brother finally seeing her graduate and going to university warms my heart a little bit."

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, École L'Odyssée held a modified graduation, and Lina was presented with her diploma by her parents.

"I was always picturing this moment when I was younger, so when I saw it happen I almost felt like I was in a dream, like wow is this really happening? Am I graduating? So I was very very happy. It was nice seeing my parents giving me my diploma, that was a very nice moment." 

There could be more early graduations in the Alqadi family's future. Lina and Mohammad have two younger sisters, Sara, 7 and Aleen, 5.

About the Author

Kate Letterick is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

With files from Radio-Canada, Rose St. Pierre

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