18-year-old graduates from Southern University

Polite Stewart, Jr. receives his diploma
Polite Stewart, Jr. receives his diploma
Polite Stewart Jr.
Polite Stewart Jr.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Imagine finishing college when most people your age are wrapping up high school. More than 500 Southern University students received degrees on Friday including one student who started at Southern when he was just 14 years old.

While the Mini Dome is filled with excited family and friends, the Stewart family proudly watches their son make history. Polite Stewart, an 18-year-old who should be a high school senior at this age, received his Bachelor's degree in science.

"To me it's not really a big deal...it really isn't," said Stewart.

The Baton Rouge native started at Southern at just 14 years old when enrolling in the university's Timbuktu Academy for gifted high school students.

"I was relaxed because I knew he could handle it. We worked with him. This was younger kids, kids his age and old kids....no problem," said Polite Stewart, Sr., the proud father.

Commencement speaker and president of the National Urban League Marc Morial says it was an honor to be in the presence of so many our state's gifted youth, like Stewart.

"It just show that there's an abundance of talent here in Louisiana," said Morial. "There's an abundance of talent that can easily be overlooked. Thank God for Southern University that's given this young man a chance to hone those God-given talents."

Stewart says his four years at Southern flew by, and there will be some things he will miss as he moves on.

"Connections I've made, the friends I've made here...now, some of them are graduating with me right now so that's great, but there are going to be some people that I leave behind that I'm going to miss," said Stewart.

His next step is grad school where he'll no doubt, once again, be the youngest in his class.

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