Only 14 - but a college grad
May 15, 2009 at 12:15 a.m.
Updated May 14, 2009 at 12:14 a.m.
While most 14-year-olds are preparing for their freshman year in high school, Natasha Verma is preparing for her junior year in college.
Natasha will graduate from the Victoria College on Saturday with an associate's degree in science.
She began taking classes at Profit Magnet High School when she was 12. That same year she took her first face-to-face class at VC.
"At first it was kind of scary, being 12 in college class," Natasha said. "But then I just adjusted to it and now that I've gotten a taste, I'll fit right in at UT."
She was accepted in the spring to the University of Texas at Austin. Natasha will begin classes in the summer and live in the dorms on campus. She is interested in medicine and communications, she said.
"I'm not sure if I will double major, but I will be exploring the medical field in hopes of becoming a physician, and I have a passion for broadcasting," Natasha said.
Her parents, Dr. Omesh and Shama Verma, have encouraged their oldest of three children to accomplish her goals.
"I've always told her if she can accomplish her goals, the sky's the limit," her father said.
Natasha's parents said they never pushed their daughter to graduate from high school or college early.
"She is very dedicated, self motivated and hardworking," her mother said. "She can achieve anything she sets her mind to. That's Natasha."
Pursuing a high school diploma and college degree at a young age has always been her goal, her mother said.
"This is something I want to do, I like to push myself to the challenge," Natasha said. "It takes a 100 percent effort on my part. If I didn't put forth the effort, none of this would be possible."
While Natasha does spend a lot of time studying, she's still a teenager.
"I like to do what most teenagers do," she said. "I like to hang out, go shopping, play sports, and most recently, I've started competing in pageants."
Her priority is education and her studies, she said. She has even made time to star in a horror movie, "Ringworm," filmed in Austin.
"I loved being involved in the movie. It was a long process, but I enjoyed it," Natasha said.
When she's not having fun with her friends or getting involved in side projects, Natasha helps her father at his walk-in clinic Crossroads Health Center.
"We always ask the patients if it's OK for me to be in the room," Natasha said.
She will hold the instrument plates, but does not work on any of the patients, she said.
"I've been around patients since I was really young," Natasha said. "I used to accompany my dad when he did his patient rounds."
Most of the patients are curious about her age and why she is so interested in the medical field at such a young age, she said.
She is excited about leaving for Austin in June, but said she will try not to rush her way out of the university.
"I want to try to earn my degree quickly, but at the same time, I want to enjoy college life," Natasha said.
Medical school is the next stop for the teenager once she receives her bachelor's in natural science, she said.
"I want to become a physician and receive a broadcasting degree," Natasha said. "Those are two things I love."