In May 2018, Elijah Precciely made the news when he historically gained admission into Southern University, an HBCU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on a full scholarship. He became the youngest person ever to get a full-ride scholarship to the university at just 11 years old.
“Some people think I’m 15. Either I’m a tall 11-year-old or a short 15-year-old,” he said at the time he enrolled as a full-time student. On the back of this feat, Elijah from Baton Rouge was featured on several news sites and today, the 14-year-old prodigy, a junior majoring in physics and chemical engineering at Southern University, is set to finish college next year.
When he started his college career in 2019, he described how excited he was to finally be in an environment he loves. He also explained at the time his academics-first policy and how he manages to stand out in an environment of older people with more adult interests.
Now, even though he is still making strides on campus, one of his biggest challenges has been Psychology classes.
“I never knew it would be my Achilles’ heel. I got a ‘B’ in Psychology. I got a ‘B,’” Elijah told WBRZ2 News. “I was like, it’s like a Rubik’s cube. I was like, ‘how did everyone do this but not me, right?’ But I was able to come back from that.”
Elijah’s mom Pamela Precciely said her son is “able to speak up about his own differences or his own challenges.”
“Even when it comes to classes, he said he was taking physics and chemical engineering. But he also literally would say, ‘I want to make sure can I get a business class in there,” she said.
At age 11 when the boy genius started his college classes, he was already a founder and CEO who was training to become a minister of God. He first started taking classes at Southern University when he was just eight years old. This was after his mother decided to seek more help with his home tuition as the boy was way ahead of his school year. Elijah’s brilliance was soon noticed and he was offered a scholarship.
Aside from his excellence in academics, Elijah took part in church activities, and in 2019, it was announced that he was in training to become a Minister. He became a local radio talk show host sharing views on the Word of God and success for young people. He also authored a Christian guidebook. In January 2016, Elijah interned at the Career Services on Southern University’s campus where he created inventions in the areas of Physics, Chemistry and Engineering.
His discovered passion for science and inventions coupled with his experience in sharing the word of God and offering some sort of counseling to his peers at any given chance led him to start his own company, Elijah J.D Precciely Enterprise Inc., in 2018 that focuses on education, innovations, ministry work and entrepreneurship for young people.
In September 2018, his company joined the Southern University’s career fair with hopes of recruiting people to work for him. His career fair involvement made local news and became an inspiration for several entrepreneurs.
While the university offers a more challenging environment for him currently, Elijah is definitely up to the task of scoring high grades and breaking more records. But making history is not the teen’s focus.
“Well, I don’t look for just breaking records, I look for changing lives. And in that, I will break records. My first priority is to be a shining light to help others, and the second priority is to make sure that I help people like me and people who want to connect with me,” he said.
His parents believe that he is an inspiration for others, particularly HBCU students. “You’ll have many Black and brown children to see someone who looks like them and does not have to cater to other institutions that are traditionally known for geniuses,” said his father, Pastor Steven Precciely. “There is a greatness right here at an HBCU. There’s greatness here, and you can shine and you can get a great education here and encourage them to do likewise.”
Elijah has so far published his second published book, Prodigy, which is available on Amazon. He is set to graduate next year. The chemical engineering and physics major said he is building an electrostatic generating socket.
“I’m trying to build an electrostatic generating socket. I don’t know if that’s a teenager thing, but I’m learning about it,” he said.