When Danya Hamad takes the bar exam in July, she will be 20 – a year younger than the usual minimum age for the exam.
Hamad, of Canal Winchester, will receive his law degree from Capital University on Sunday at the age of 19.
In order to accept the bar, she had to submit a special petition to the Ohio Supreme Court explaining why she was qualified. In addition to her law degree, she obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and has had several legal day schools to her credit.
“They all voted on it and took the unanimous decision that I was able to take it,” Hamad said.
She joins two of her siblings who also celebrated graduating from Capital University this month: her 22-year-old sister, Summer, who received her bachelor’s degree in biology on May 8; and David, 18, a 2020 biology graduate who started in person on May 9.
Jody Fournier, provost and vice president for learning at Capital, said he meets regularly with Danya and David to make sure they are on track with their programs. Fournier said he didn’t know of another time in university history when two teenagers received such degrees – especially from the same family.
“I should say that both students are just exceptional,” he said. “They are very dynamic, very responsible for their academic career.”
Fournier also underlined the work they accomplished before attending the Université de la Capitale which brought them closer to their diplomas.
Danya and David took College Credit Plus courses at Columbus State Community College in high school and had obtained their Associates degree by the time of graduation. Due to Columbus State’s privileged partnership with Capital University, their associate’s degrees automatically met almost all of their general education requirements, regardless of their field of study.
Danya has also enrolled in Capital University’s 3 + 3 program which combines the final year of college with the first year of law school, meaning that students can get both their bachelor’s degree and their law degree. in six years. She completed the program in four.
Between her classes at Capital University and her day schools at the Columbus City Attorney’s Office and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Danya also earned a master’s degree in international relations from the American University. It was a program “ahead of its time,” she said – and she was focusing on graduate lectures before the pandemic began.
In some ways, the pandemic has made it easier for him. Before all of her classes were online, Danya was at Capital University every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then drove home before her evening classes for American University.
“Sometimes I was doing more than 12 hours of school a day, depending on the week,” she said. “It was just a lot. It was something I could handle, and I was doing fine, but it was so much easier for me to switch to the internet for my law degree because I didn’t have to rush home or worry. of travel time.
With her degrees, Danya hopes to become an international civil rights lawyer, aspiring to one day work for the US State Department or the United Nations. But she said she would agree to start in criminal justice.
Danya attributes her passion for human rights to the fact that her parents did not raise her and her siblings in a “protected environment” – that is, they made a difference. duty to educate their children on world issues. She said the family watched the news together, turning the channels so they could have multiple perspectives on current events.
“I was young, and I saw all these underdeveloped countries at war, and all these people that were starving or under the rubble of their houses or something – it really made me want to go to a place. career where I could be of service to people, ”she said.
According to his other siblings, this is something that has influenced their career goals as well.
David, who hopes to attend Ohio State University’s College of Medicine, wants to become a cardiac surgeon and work internationally. Summer, who will pursue a doctorate in pharmacy in the state of Ohio, wants to work in nuclear pharmacy, working with radioactive materials to treat cancer and other diseases.
Fournier said the Hamads have been “delightful” to work with the Université de la Capitale. Wherever they go, he is convinced that they will be successful.
“I know their life is transformed because of their presence here, but at the same time our institution is doing better because of them and the work they have done – inside the classroom but also in the classroom. ‘outside the classroom,’ Fournier said.
@ sarahsszilagy @ gannett.com