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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

Sixteen-year-old student prepares for graduation

Late next week, thousands of seniors will graduate from UW-Madison. But for Serra Crawford, this is an especially big triumph as she walks across stage to receive her diploma at only 16 years old.

By the time she was ten years old, Crawford had completed high school through home schooling and online curriculum. Her college journey began when a college advisor who knew of her accomplishments approached her at the library and invited her to take a practice exam.

After passing the exam, the 10-year-old Crawford decided to attend a two-year college.

“It was hard because I stuck out. I was obviously a very small child,” Crawford said of her early college years. “It was just sort of hard to blend in, but I think that once people got to know me it was totally fine.”

Four years later, she became a full-time student at UW-Madison.

Despite her young age, Crawford is similar to any other UW-Madison senior in many ways. She is graduating with a major in International Studies and a certificate in Global Health. Next fall, she will undertake a research project in Zambia before returning to UW-Madison in the spring to pursue a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. Crawford said she hopes to one day become a trauma surgeon.

Although she is several years younger than the typical student, Crawford said she has had no problem making friends at UW-Madison. In fact, she said most of her older classmates have been supportive.

“A lot of people are really surprised, definitely,” she said. “I guess they just sort of want to know how this happened and what my story is.”

Crawford said unlike her peers who are surprised by her age, her professors usually have no idea that there is a 16-year-old in their midst.

“There’s no reason to tell them,” she explained.

Although unconventional, Serra said her time as a Badger has been positive.

“It’s been great to be here, everyone has been really nice and supportive,” she said. “It’s just been a really good experience.”

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