Ruby Martin, 16, has accomplished much – beginning college at 14, joining the debate team and earning an associate degree from College of the Mainland this spring.

Now she’s been accepted as one of the youngest students at University of Texas Medical Branch, working toward a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The goal-oriented student at 14 began COM Collegiate High School, which allowed her to take all of her classes at COM while being eligible for extracurricular activities at her high school, Santa Fe.

“I wanted to get to my career faster,” said Martin.

After her younger brother was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the medical field piqued her interest.

“I was there with him in the hospital and helped when he came home,” said Martin. “I wanted to help (other) people.”

Among the youngest in Collegiate High School, she faced challenges, including those who said she was too young.

“I had to push back,” said Martin. “It’s a tough program. (My family is) a huge support. It’s a matter of pushing through those barriers that people say you can’t do it and showing them I can.”

Staying focused on her goal challenged her.

“All the professors were there for me,” said Martin. “The support system you have there and how close you are with them is like a second family. I can come back to them now and they’re still there for me.”

She is on track to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing just after she turns 18.

“Collegiate (High School) helped me prepare for what I was coming into,” said Martin. “It helped me know what I’m going to be faced with. It’s a way to prepare for what’s next.”

For more information on the COM Collegiate High School, visit