Instead of enjoying a lazy summer day, one teen has decided to think about her future.
Hannah Baratang, 16, started a new job as a work study in the biology lab at Texas A&M – Central Texas. At 16 years old, she has already earned two Associate's Degrees, one in organismal biology and the other in chemistry.
She transferred to TAMUCT as a junior in high school and has a 3.8 GPA.
“The first time I ever saw the biology lab was a few years ago,” Baratang said. “Our teachers at Central Texas College arranged a field trip and the whole class toured the new biology and chemistry labs at A&M-Central Texas, and I knew at that moment that this was where I wanted to get my degree.”
Joan Baratang, Hannah’s mom, knew her daughter was special when she was in the second grade. Every summer after that, she ordered an accelerated curriculum that Hannah was eager to consume and learn.
Sandra Whisler, Hannah's biology professor at Central Texas College, said she is both an outstanding student and an inspiration.
"She just learned it really fast. Took great notes and was just a really really good student," Whisler said. "I would say that I have taught for 25 years and I would say that she is one of the top three students that I've taught.”
She has excelled in her classes at CTC and in her work-study program at TAMUCT.
Dr. Laura Weiser-Erlandson, Associate Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences at A&M-Central Texas, said she was shocked to learn her new work-study was 16 but looks forward to having her in classes.
“She’s very mature and dedicated,” Weiser-Erlandson said. “Sometimes, I see that in a student twice her age. But 16? That’s exceptional. There’s no doubt that Hannah is going to do amazing things.”
By this time next year, Baratang will receive her bachelor’s degree in biology, before her 18th birthday.
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