Meet the 12-year-old college sophomore studying aerospace engineering; speaks four languages

Francis Akhalbey Sep 30, 2020 at 11:00am

September 30, 2020 at 11:00 am | Opinions & Features

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

September 30, 2020 at 11:00 am | Opinions & Features

12-year-old Caleb Anderson is an aerospace engineering sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College -- Photo Credit: 11Alive.com

Caleb Anderson may come across as a normal 12-year-old, but his academic background and the successes he has been able to chalk over a very short period of time, thanks to his unique ingenuity, puts him way above his peers.

Despite his young age, Caleb is already a sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Georgia, studying aerospace engineering as his major.

Caleb started showing flashes of his brilliance from the time he was in diapers, proving he did not have to impatiently wait to talk to able to communicate, as he had already picked up and learned sign language. He bettered that feat by learning to read the constitution of the United States at the age of two, according to 11Alive.

“By nine months old, he was able to sign over 250 words, and by 11 months old, he was speaking and reading,” Caleb’s family told the news platform.

By the time he was three, Caleb could speak Spanish, French and Mandarin besides English, and also impressively qualified for MENSA – the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. The society is open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardised, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.

“As we started to interact with other parents, and had other children, then we started to realize how exceptional this experience was, because we had no other frame of reference,” his father said.

Caleb, who joined MENSA two years after qualifying, rubs shoulders with other young, Black geniuses in the intellectual exchange forum, including Wilfred Ramarni, Alannah George and Anala Beevers. His parents told 11Alive his admittance at the age of five made him the youngest African-American boy to become a member of the society during that period.

The whizz-kid’s mother said their decision to enroll him in college was encouraged by his outstanding performances from lower school through to high school and his desire to push himself for more knowledge.

“He said, ‘mom I’m bored. This is not challenging’,” his mom said. “‘It’s really not helping me grow in my learning, and I think I’m ready for college.’”

Though Caleb is very young, he doesn’t let his age get in the way, claiming his college experience was exactly how he envisioned it if he were older. “It was exactly how I expected it to be like, if I were 18 or something,” he told 11Alive. The 12-year-old has also set his sights on also furthering his education at Georgia Tech and possibly MIT.

Caleb’s parents believe there are also other equally gifted African-American children out there, and people need to move beyond the stereotypes and give them the much-needed support.

“I think people have a negative perspective when it comes to African-American boys. There are many other Calebs out there. African-American boys like him,” his mother said. “From being a teacher – I really believe that. But they don’t have the opportunity or the resources.”

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