Bright Spots: University of Alabama student graduates at 16

Nearly 6,000 people graduated with a degree from the University of Alabama over the weekend. The youngest of those is 16-year-old LeAnna Roberts, who earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and is already working toward a master’s in business administration.

LeAnna and her family knew early on she had a gift for learning.

“I started reading and tying my shoes around 1 or 2 years old,” LeAnna said. “My parents have always pushed me beyond limits I may set for myself.”

LeAnna’s intelligence, charisma and charm are just a few qualities she’s used to achieve her college dreams years before her peers are graduating high school.

“The beauty of my journey is that I don’t feel like I have ever been defined by my age,” she said. “When I saw all the pretty crimson hats, I said, ‘Mom, I have to get a red hat.’ Maintaining a 4.0 GPA was probably the most challenging part of my time here.”

While she’s proud of what she’s done so far in her 16 years, LeAnna said her mark on the world is still coming.

“With my mom’s side of the family being from Aliceville, I was able to witness the health care discrepancies that come with living in such a rural area,” LeAnna said.

As the youngest Spring 2023 University of Alabama graduate, LeAnna said she hopes her story inspires others to aim for the stars.

“Chase your dreams and never look back,” she said. “Only you know what you love and what you are capable of. Know what makes you get up every day in the morning and ignites you. You can do it.”

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