18-year-old Biology student graduates from UDM

May 20, 2024

Kadyja Ka poses for a photo with President Donald B. TaylorAt an age when her peers are finishing high school and preparing for life’s next adventure, Kadyja Ka found herself celebrating a different milestone.

The 18-year-old graduated from ϲʲͼ this month with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Leadership.  

Ka said starting college at 15 was a difficult journey, but she persevered with the support of family and faculty. 

“It was hard, being really young and in classes with people five years older than me or having kids, but I still had to manage through,” she said. “I had help with my sister and mom being there for me, being supportive. I had to just stay and try my best.” 

Ka began her UDM career in fall 2021 after earning her high school diploma through an online home school program during the pandemic. Navigating life as a college student on the McNichols Campus was made a little easier thanks to her sister, Ndeye Ka ’23. 

"She was also there to guide and help me with which classes to take,” Ka said. “My sister was my number one; she really did help me get through it, especially when I felt like giving up.” 

With her undergraduate degree in tow, Ka is prepping for life’s next step: medical school.  

She plans on participating in a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) course with the University of Miami before taking the exam this summer. In the meantime, Ka is gaining medical experience through nursing clinicals now that she is 18. 

Eventually, she hopes to work as a pediatrician. 

“I love kids,” Ka said, “so I really want to go into pediatrics.” 

Ka was among the more than 1,000 Titans to graduate during UDM’s 2024 Commencement ceremonies. Learn more about the University’s Class of 2024 and view an array of multimedia content.