California siblings: 14-year-old accepted to 8 universities, 16-year-old getting his PhD

Parents Bijou and Taji Abraham stand with their daughter, Tiara, 14. May 2020

A pair of California siblings continue to surpass most teens in their academic accomplishments, however, like the rest of us, their public successes are being forced to take a back seat during the era of coronavirus. 

Tiara Abraham, 14, was accepted by eight universities, her mother said. They are: the University of California at Berkeley, UC Davis, University of Southern California, University of the Pacific, San Jose State, Sacramento State, San Francisco State and Cal State East Bay.

The accomplished opera singer from Sacramento, who sang the national anthem at a San Francisco Giants game last summer, has not yet decided where she'll attend. 

"At 14, we understand, she will be the youngest student to be admitted to the prestigious and selective University of Southern California with an acceptance rate of 16 to 20% for a bachelor of music," said her mother, Taji Abraham. 


Tiara Abraham sings the national anthem at a San Francisco Giants game. August 2019

California boy to graduate UC Davis at age 14, now heading off for PhD

Tiara will be transferring from American River College with a perfect 4.0 GPA, her mother said. 

Tiara's brother, Tanishq, has grabbed headlines before, too, for his stunning scholarly pursuits and achievements. 

At 14, he graduated summa cum laude from one of the toughest majors, biomedical engineering, at the University of California at Davis. He graduated high school when he was 10. 

Now, at age 16, Tanishq is wrapping up his second year in PhD biomedical engineering at UC Davis. 

But neither sibling is immune to the shelter-in-place order blanketing Calfornia and the rest of the country.

Until someone, maybe one of the Abrahams, discovers a vaccine, they too, will have to celebrate their successes virtually. 

"In spite of all these wonderful accomplishments after her hard work, we are unable to celebrate our 14-year-old daughter's high school graduation and university admissions due to the current situation," her mother said. "The least we can do as parents share her story of hurdles, perseverance and success with the rest of the world and spread some positivism."


Tiara and Tanishq warm up on the piano.

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at in new tab) or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez