As a child, Himani Devabhaktuni of North Wales, Pa. was more advanced than other girls her age. Now, at 14 years old, she is the youngest graduate of the Montgomery County Community College Class of 2017.
“My mother said I was always mature for my age,” Devabhaktuni recalls. “When I was at Disney World as a child, I remember asking the Snow White character what she did when she was out of costume.”
The question not only showed her maturity, but also her advanced level of curiosity which led her to start taking online courses at MCCC when she was still in middle school.
“I always wanted to be a doctor,” Devabhaktuni said. ”I’ve always been fascinated by the intricacies in the inner workings of the human body. When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, that made me want to be a doctor even more.”
Although she had a heightened sense of curiosity, Devabhaktuni was also very shy – something she learned to overcome at MCCC.
“I took online courses at first because I was really nervous to take courses on campus, but when I started taking courses on campus, I really liked it. I fit in more here than I initially anticipated.”
As a dual-enrolled student, Devabhaktuni received her high school diploma just a couple of weeks ago, and will receive her associate’s degree in Liberal Studies during the MCCC Commencement ceremony. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society.
This summer, she is taking a calculus course at MCCC while taking a chemistry lab course at Penn State University Abington. She has applied to Penn State Abington and Arcadia University, and plans to pursue a pre-med or biology degree at her chosen university.
Although an excellent science student, she also has a creative side. She learned to draw as a child from watching instructional videos on YouTube, and often can be found drawing on a sketchpad.
“I had Aina Roman as art teacher here, and she made me feel like I can do it. I just think she was a really good teacher,” Devabhaktuni said. “One of my professors at Penn State Abington recently hired me to illustrate one of her books, and I don’t think that would have happened without Aina Roman’s instruction.”
She is the daughter of Sarada and Ajay Devabhaktuni of North Wales.