15-year-old becomes Indiana’s youngest college grad as he earns bachelor’s degree in addition to 3 associate degrees

Stephen Nartey May 10, 2024
Khaya Njumbe/Photo credit: Indiana University

Khaya Njumbe has become the youngest college graduate in Indiana after receiving a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Indiana University Northwest alongside three associate degrees.

This young genius is not only academically gifted but also possesses exceptional talents in piano, linguistics, and sports. Aside from being the youngest college graduate in Indiana, Njumbe will be the first in his family to graduate from college.

“I know it’s a pretty big accomplishment,” he told WGN. Beginning his studies at Indiana University Northwest at the age of 12, he concurrently pursued his high school diploma at the 21st Century Charter School.

Njumbe’s parents, who migrated from South Africa to the U.S. decades ago, identified his exceptional abilities early on. At just 13 months old, he began reading flashcards, and in the following years, he independently learned to play the piano. Inspired by Bruce Lee’s movies, he also taught himself Chinese.

He told WGN9: “When I was about 7, that’s when my mom officially sent me to a Chinese school, but before then I was already trying to teach myself.”

At the age of four, Njumbe was enrolled in a specialized reading camp at Indiana University Northwest by his parents. During his studies at the 21st Century Charter School, Njumbe completed associate degrees at the university concurrently, beginning at the remarkable age of 12.

His dedication has resulted in the acquisition of three associate degrees in biology, liberal arts, and general studies. After receiving his bachelor’s degree on Wednesday, Njumbe now proudly holds the title of the youngest university graduate in the state.

Beyond his academic prowess, he is a member of his school’s tumbling team and holds a black belt in Taekwondo. During his leisure time, he enjoys video games and basketball.

Despite his aspirations to study medicine, Njumbe will not be able to readily enroll in medical school due to state child labor laws, which prevent him from starting medical school until he reaches the age of 18.

In the interim, he intends to pursue a master’s degree. Jack Bloom, one of his teachers, noted that in his 45 years of teaching at the university, he has never encountered a student quite like Njumbe.

He told WGN9: “You can count on him. He is a serious student. He does the reading. He produces great work.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 10, 2024

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