From the Big Bang Theory to Goodwill Hunting, young geniuses hold a certain cultural fascination. But for real-life brilliant children, their studies can be just one part of childhood. Nine-year-old David Balogun recently made history as one of the youngest people ever to graduate high school. The genius student wants to be an astrophysicist, but he's also a normal kid pursuing his black belt in martial arts.
Balogun, who is a member of Mensa, graduated from Reach Cyber Charter School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (The youngster attended classes remotely rather than with the big kids.) He loves science and computer programming. “I want to be an astrophysicist, and I want to study black holes and supernovas,” he told a local news station.
Balogun credits his favorite teachers for advocating for him despite his young age. “They didn’t bog me down,” he said. “They…advocated for me, saying, ‘He can do this. He can do that.'” His teachers were obviously impressed. Cody Derr, his science teacher, noted, “David was an inspirational kid, definitely one who changes the way you think about teaching.”
For Balogun's parents, both of whom have advanced degrees, raising a 9-year-old genius has its challenges. “I had to get outside of the box,” his mother, Ronya, said. “Playing pillow fights when you’re not supposed to, throwing the balls in the house. He’s a 9-year-old with the brain that has the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot of concepts beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding.”
Like other kids his age, Balogun does martial arts and plays piano. He also enjoys sports. Since graduating high school, Balogun has spent a semester studying at a local community college. Now, his parents are searching for an appropriate college education for him. “Am I going to throw my 9-year-old into Harvard while I’m living in [Pennsylvania]?” his father, Henry, quipped. “No.”
Balogun is thought to be the second youngest person ever to graduate from high school. He loses the top spot to Michael Kearney, who graduated at age six in 1990. By age 14, Kearney had his first master's degree, and he went on to win a lot of money at gameshows. Balogun beats out famous journalist Ronan Farrow, who graduated at 11. Certainly, for a brilliant young boy like Balogun, the sky (and the very supernovas he wants to study) are the limit.
Nine-year-old David Balogun just graduated from high school, one of the youngest people ever to do so.
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