MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WSFA) – Many living rooms have been converted to makeshift classrooms after the COVID-19 hit. Rather than meeting in person, several students took up a new challenge: virtual learning.
As the pandemic hit 16-year-old Mariannah Harding, Montgomery, who could no longer attend her ballet lessons, her school life has remained relatively similar. Harding had already been homeschooled for years.
“On a normal day, we weren’t necessarily all together,” Harding said while studying alongside his siblings. “We can be in the same room or we are working on different topics at the same time.”
Unlike most, she graduated from high school in 2016 at the age of 11, before practically pursuing a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Bellevue. She just graduated in August.
Harding is number eight in a line of 10 siblings who all started college around the age of 12. They are known as “Brainy Bunch”. But mother Mona Lisa Harding said it was less about the brain than the conduct.
“My kids aren’t smarter than anyone else – they’re really motivated and they work really hard – but they really feel like anyone can achieve those kinds of results,” said the mother.
She said the homeschool option has been a “blessing.” The mother also believes that it is important to allow each child to pursue their interests.
“Figuring out what their passions are when they’re young is essential,” she added.
Mariannah Harding is passionate about plants. Whether she’s harvesting tomatoes, picking okra or watching her loofah grow day by day, having a green thumb brings her joy.
She has learned a thing or two over the past six years of gardening and watching educational videos. Now that she has a degree, she is interested in another.
The teenager applied to Auburn University to study horticulture.
“So I hope to learn more about gardening, plants and all the benefits that come with it, because agriculture obviously plays such an important role in our society,” said Mariannah Harding.
She wants to use her skills to make the world a better place and has toyed with the idea of creating community gardens in downtown Montgomery.
For now, the 16-year-old graduate is tending to the gardens outside her home, with dreams that may one day become another remarkable reality.
Mariannah Harding and her siblings attended a plethora of different colleges and universities:
Hannah – Auburn University at Montgomery & Tuskegee University
Rosannah – Auburn University
Serennah – Huntingdon College
Heath – Troy University – Montgomery Campus
Keith – Faulkner University
Seth – The University of Alabama
Katrinnah – Faulkner University
Mariannah – Bellevue University
Lorennah – Bellevue University
Tonnerre – Bellevue University
The family encourages those with questions to reach out through [email protected]. You can also see more of the Hardings on their YouTube channel.
Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.