16-year-old homeschool student set to attend UVA this coming fall

While studying, Irelyn Heard excelled in her core academics and extra curricular activities.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Irelyn Hearn will be attending UVA this coming semester from her home in Greene County. At just 16 years old, Irelyn may be the youngest first year in the class.

“I really love learning, and it’s something that I’ve always been invested in since I was a kid,” Irelyn said.

Irelyn was homeschooled, learning all the same subjects that are taught in public school but in a different format and setting. She finished high school at 15 and earned her associates degree a year later.

“I’m so proud of her and I know she has worked really hard. She has certainly earned everything that she’s gotten thus far and I’m excited for her to go to UVA,” said Irelyn’s mother, Kimberly Hearn.

While studying, Irelyn excelled in her core academics and extra curricular activities.

“I think it’s really important to embrace your passions and ambitions and go as far as you can with that, no matter what other people tell you,” Irelyn said. “I have loved swimming since I was a little kid. Before I went into artistic swimming where I competed in the Junior Olympics three times, I was a lap swimmer.”

Irelyn will be taking her positive attitude and drive with her to UVA this fall, and after undergrad, she plans to go to med school to become a neurosurgeon.

“When I was really young kid, probably around age four, I took swim lessons with UVA, and that was my first time being on campus. I loved it. I always thought that getting into UVA would mean like I made it, you know, I was successful as a person and now I’m in UVA, and I’m just really proud of that accomplishment,” Irelyn said.

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