KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It’s graduation season and college and high school students are walking across the stage and out into the world. Earning a degree is quite an accomplishment in itself, but one UT nursing student’s graduation story is pretty mind-blowing.
At age 18, Jacqueline Gaddis is the youngest nursing graduate that officials can remember and her sister graduated Friday as well at the age of 20.
Madeleine Gaddis walked across the stage and got her diploma with her younger sister Jacqueline Gaddis crossing the stage right behind her.
“It’s a moment of everything of the last four years in coming together and I’ve finally completed all this hard work that I’ve put toward my nursing degree,” said Jacqueline Gaddis.
The sisters started college at the age of 15 and 16.
“I was home schooled growing up and I started first grade when I was five years old. I completed my middle school credits in two years and I completed my high school credits in three years,” said Jacqueline Gaddis.
The sisters explained why they chose nursing as a career.
“I wanted to be in a profession where I was making relationships and caring for people in the toughest times in their life and ministering to them and showing them God’s love through work,” said Madeleine Gaddis.
While the sisters know they want to help others, they aren’t exactly sure where they want to work yet. Jacqueline Gaddis has another exciting life changing event in just a couple weeks.
“I’m getting married two weeks from today so right now between graduating and getting married my world’s a little busy right now. I don’t know what the next steps are but I’m excited to see where God leads me next,” said Jacqueline Gaddis.
The Gaddis family was all smiles, hugging the girls and showing just how proud they are of the sisters’ accomplishments.
The sisters say home schooling allowed them to learn at their own speed which is why they were able to complete their high school credits and ACT early. They say their mother, who helped teach them and spent so much time with them each day, is key to their early success.