Georgia boy, 12, begins sophomore year of college as aerospace engineering major

Caleb Anderson is the definition of Black boy joy

Maneuvering college is a challenge for anyone but for one 12-year-old, it’s a breeze. Not only is Caleb Anderson a sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, he’s studying aerospace engineering. His parents say they knew he was gifted at a young age.

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At only four weeks old, Caleb would mimic his mother’s speech and at nine months he knew over 250 words in American sign language By the time he was 4, he could easily read words he was seeing for the first time.

“I was getting my master’s in education so I knew that there was something special about that,” Claire Anderson, Caleb’s mother told USA Today.

After he graduates in about two years, Caleb plans on attending thee Georgia Institute of Technology and then the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. He hopes to achieve two things; an internship with Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a dream he has been chasing all of his young life.

“When I was like 1, I always wanted to go to space,” Caleb told USA Today. “I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path.”

His mother says initially his high intellect impacted his sense of self because he didn’t need to study or require any help with his school work as many kids do. But she nipped that in the bud.

“I didn’t like the character that was building in him,” she said. “He didn’t have any study skills, perseverance, grit. He didn’t ask for help.”

His mother and father decided there were other things they needed to focus on.

“Both of us are not rocket scientists,” Claire said. She’s a former teacher and her husband, Kobi, is an IT salesman. “We had to learn there are other things that we can teach him about compassion, kindness, looking for good in others.”

She said she noticed Caleb would zoom through his course work in elementary school and was worried that he wouldn’t be challenged if he continued at that grade level. She now encourages parents to advocate for their kid’s education early on. The Andersons have two other children, 7-year-old Hannah and 8-year-old Aaron. Both are in gifted classes.

Caleb’s father says despite any naysayers, college has been the best choice for their son.

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“[The school and students are] accepting,” he told the publication. “People might think something about it, but they don’t show it, which is really nice.”

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