“I knew I wanted to be a surgeon.”

Latifa Aboeid, 17, dream builder

Some kids say they want to be a firefighter, an astronaut or a teacher when they grow up.

By fourth grade, Latifa Aboeid knew that she would be a surgeon.

“I go back and forth between neurosurgeon and general surgeon, but I know I’ll go to med school,” she says.

The dream isn’t very far out from reach.

At just 17, Latifa has nearly two years of college credits on her transcript, thanks to the STEM Early College at NC A&T, a new tuition-free Guilford County public high school located in Greensboro. She is on track to start medical school by age 19.

The early college is academically rigorous, and Latfia’s an ambitious student. She is researching insulin resistance in Type 1 Diabetes in addition to her regular course load.

She loves her school. She heads up A&T’s Recyclemania efforts, serves as president of the quiz bowl and is starting a debate team. Latifa will be part of first class of seniors to graduate next year.

“I love having such a tight knit community. Everyone is your friend. You never feel out of place or discriminated against,” says Latifa, whose parents are from Sudan. “I can think of people from over 20 different countries – and that’s remarkable for a school our size.”


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