A 12-year-old student from Sacramento, California, who currently holds three community college degrees, has been accepted to two University of California campuses with plans to study biomedical engineering and to become a doctor and medical researcher by the time he turns 18.
Tanishq Abraham, who joined the IQ society Mensa at just four years old, was offered acceptance letters to both UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz. The boy has not yet decided which school he would like to attend. While UC Davis is closer to home, meaning a 20-minute drive each way for his parents, UC Santa Cruz offered the boy a Regents Scholarship, the highest award given out to incoming students.
The boy first attended community college when he was just seven years old. Last year he earned three associate’s degrees from American River College, a community college in Sacramento, in general science, math and physical science, and foreign language studies. Graduating at the top of his class at just 11 years old, it is believed that he is the youngest graduate ever.
He earned his high school diploma just one year before and he also received a letter of recognition from President Barack Obama.
When he began at the school, professors were unsure about his attending classes due to his age. However, one professor did agree to allow him into his class as long as his mother, a doctor of veterinary medicine, took the class as well. “There were times when I had to explain general relativity and special relativity to my mom,” he said.
According to biology professor Marlene Martinez, the boy asked a lot of questions. “In lecture he would always pop up with ‘so, does that mean …’ or ‘what about this?’ ” Martinez said.
His father, Bijou Abraham, said that Tanishq has always been quick to learn new things.
“We tested him and discovered that he was pretty smart,” he said. “We were surprised when we started giving him advanced stuff and he was picking it up really fast.”
Tanishq said that child geniuses are often regarded as being a little odd, likening geniuses to mad scientists. He went on to say that in fact he is an ordinary child who enjoys learning but also likes to play video games and spend time on Twitter with his younger sister Tiara, who at 10 years old is also a Mensa member and is currently taking classes at American River College, writes Elizabeth Chuck for NBC News.
The 12-year-old will be a junior transfer student when he enrolls at the school of his choice because of the credits he earned at American River College. He said that whichever school he chooses, he is not concerned with fitting in with other students.
“Based on my experiences with ARC, at first, they’re a little confused. But once they get used to me, they don’t treat that differently,” he said. “We’re all just friends and have fun.”
After becoming a doctor and medical researcher, Tanishq said he would like to become President of the United States.