2 teenagers earn degrees from Arizona State University

Phoenix, Arizona (AP) 5-09

A 17-year-old girl has become the youngest person ever to receive a bachelor of science degree from Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation.

Danielle McBurnett graduated summa cum laude from the program and plans to enroll in the school’s doctoral program in nursing practice in the fall.

McBurnett was home-schooled, but at age 12 she started taking classes at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

She received her associate degree (4.0 grade-point average) and high-school diploma at the age of 15 and enrolled at ASU.


“When I meet people, I don’t wear a big name tag that says, ‘Hi, I’m Danielle, I’m 17.’ I’ll tell some people when it’s pertinent information, but I don’t let my age dictate who I am,” McBurnett said.

She said college just sharpened her focus on a goal she has held since she was 10 years old.

“I knew I wanted to be a nurse,” McBurnett said. “Now, I’m more focused on what I want to be on top of that and the next degrees I want to get. Now, I want to be a nurse practitioner. After that, I’m even considering going to law school, too.”

McBurnett was one of several extraordinary ASU students who received degrees May 13.

Others included 17-year-old Raymond Singh, who was the youngest student ever to enroll at ASU when the university accepted him at age 14.

Singh, who has earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, hopes to earn a doctorate from Virginia Tech and then spend a year learning the theory and practice of Indian classical music.

Kishan Lara, who grew up in a Native American community in Northern California that felt exploited by researchers, has become the first in her tribe to earn a doctorate.

Lara, 29, wrote her dissertation on the community’s concepts of giftedness and plans to continue research to improve the way education is taught in Native American communities.

Information from: The Arizona Republic