Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Inspiring 12-Year-Old Georgia Boy Begins Sophomore Year of College

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Caleb Anderson

This article originally appeared on SouthernLiving.com.

In a lot of respects, 12-year-old Caleb Anderson is a normal kid. But, when he's not watching Netflix or playing with his action figures, he's busy living life as a college sophomore.

Caleb is currently enrolled at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, where he's set to graduate with a bachelor's in aerospace engineering in two years. From there, his goal is to continue his education at the Georgia Institute of Technology, then the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, and eventually he hopes to get an internship working for Elon Musk.

"When I was like one, I always wanted to go to space," Caleb, who qualified for MENSA at age three, told USA Today. "I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path."

His mother, Claire, told the paper that she first realized her son was gifted when he began mimicking her speech at just four weeks old. When he was nine months old, Caleb could sign more than 250 words in American Sign Language and could already read. At age two he was reading the Constitution.

He went on to breeze through traditional elementary school, but by middle school, Claire, a former teacher, grew concerned that Caleb wasn't being challenged enough.

"I didn't like the character that was building in him," she recalled to USA Today. "He didn't have any study skills, perseverance, grit. He didn't ask for help."

Caleb was ready for college.

His father, Kobi, an IT salesman, now supervises him on campus. But when it comes to helping with his homework, both parents are out of their league.

So, Claire said they're focused simply on making sure that Caleb is well-rounded.

"Both of us are not rocket scientists," she explained. "We had to learn there are other things that we can teach him about compassion, kindness, looking for good in others."

The Andersons have two other children: Aaron, 8, and Hannah, 7. Both are in the gifted program at their school.

When asked about advice for other parents, Kobi recommended advocating for academic growth in the same way you would for areas like sports.

"My wife frequently says 'raise the child you have not the child that you want,'" he told USA Today. "You've got to nurture what nature gives you."

The family hopes that Caleb's gifts will help bring awareness to racial disparities in education.

"I think people have a negative thinking when it comes to African-American boys," Claire said in a video interview for HeartThreads. "I feel as though that there are many other Calebs out there, but they don't have the opportunity or the resources."

Go get 'em, Caleb!

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