16-year-old makes history as youngest person to receive bachelor’s degree from LSU Health Shreveport
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A teenage student from LSU Health Shreveport’s Medical Laboratory Science Program is making history at the institute as he prepares to graduate with his second degree at just 16-years-old.
Isak Schmidley is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in medical lab sciences. Prior to this achievement, he received an associate’s degree from Bossier Parish Community College at the age of 14.
“Throughout that conversation, when he was looking at applying for our program, he asked, ‘Is there a certain age you have to be to be a medical laboratory scientist?’ Dr. Stephanie Blackburn recalled. “I think ‘no, no specific age.’ I had no idea it was a 14-year-old I was dealing with.”
Blackburn and the staff at LSU Health Shreveport worked with Schmidley and his parents to make it possible for him to achieve his goal as well as become the youngest MLS certified graduate the program has ever seen.
“I thought it would really be a struggle and a challenge to get acclimated to such an environment, but all of my classmates, all of the faculty and the staff here have just been so welcoming,” Schmidley said. “And I really just appreciate that. I don’t think I could make it without all their help and support.”
Schmidley will graduate on Saturday, Aug. 12, and he already has a job offer. Not only that but he isn’t ruling out the possibility of gaining another degree someday.
“I would certainly like to get a job. I would like to work here at the Austral Hospital,” he said. “I’ve applied to the master’s program, and I’ve learned so much already, but there’s still more for me to learn. [I’m] just really excited to pursue my education further.”
The teen’s professors and mother are confident that the world will see more from him in the future.
“I’m really looking forward to see what else he accomplishes beyond this medical laboratory science profession. I think he’s going to do big things,” Dr. Blackburn said.
“I don’t think that there’s anything he can’t do. The joy and the beauty, we’ll be watching him discover what he wants to do,” Traci Schmidley praised her son.
Isak Schmidley encourages students following behind him to pursue their passions.
“I think the best thing is to just do what you’re truly passionate about. I think that would be my advice to anyone who wants to pursue any fields.”
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