Cortlan Wickliff

At 22 Cortlan Wickliff, who was featured on The Root's Young Futurists 2012 list, will become the youngest African American ever to graduate from Harvard Law School. That might sound like a major accomplishment to some, but for this bright scholar, it's just a part of his master plan, according to the Boston Globe:

Wickliff initially wanted to be a doctor, but not being a fan of blood, he opted to build the devices that help doctors do their work. His resolve strengthened at 10 when his ­father died of a heart attack in a Texas town without a hospital

"That's when I started learning about point-of-care devices, which are basically medical ­devices that are portable so a doctor can be anywhere," he said. "Those are the types of ­devices I'm going to try and start my company with."

Wickliff shared his dream with his mother, and they hatched a plan, deciding he would need an engineering ­degree; a business or law ­degree ("Because if you're going to own a business, you either need a business degree or a law degree," he said); and a PhD, which he will begin pursuing this fall at Texas A&M University, his mother's alma mater. 

Wickliff is used to being the first of his kind. At 19 he graduated with a degree in bioengineering from Rice University, becoming the school's youngest black male ever to earn a degree in that field.

Read more at the Boston Globe.