12-Year-Old MENSA Member Starts Sophomore Year of College: ‘I Just Grasp Information Quickly’
Caleb Anderson can speak multiple languages and qualified for MENSA at 3 years old
Caleb Anderson is a kid unlike any other.
While most students his age are preparing for 7th grade, Caleb — from Marietta, Georgia — is starting his sophomore year of college.
The 12-year-old student is currently enrolled at Chattahoochee Technical College, where he is on track to earn his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering in two years, according to CBS News.
"I'm not really smart," Caleb told the outlet. "I just grasp information quickly. So, if I learn quicker, then I get ahead faster."
But Caleb isn't just shooting for a diploma — he has his eyes set on joining the Georgia Institute of Technology or the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, which he hopes will help him get an internship with Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.
"When I was like 1, I always wanted to go to space," he recently told USA Today. "I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path."
Caleb learned sign language when he was 9 months old and kept improving after that. He started reading a few months later, then was able to solve math problems around his second birthday, CBS News reported.
He was just 3 years old when he qualified for MENSA — a non-profit organization for people who score in the 98th percentile or higher in a standardized intelligence test. It's essentially a club for exceptionally smart people, with members including actress Geena Davis.
"I have this distinct memory of going to a first-grade class and learning there, and everyone was way taller than me, because, you know, I was 2," he said. "I could barely walk!"
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Caleb's parents knew early that their child was one of a kind, especially when they talked to other parents.
“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,” Caleb’s dad, Kobi, told WKYC.
“He has far surpassed me in math, so I can’t help him anymore,” he added. "Seriously! He’s in calculus two now!”
Caleb's mother, Claire, told WKYC that she hopes her son's example can show other African-American parents that their child can be just as special.
"I think people have a negative perspective when it comes to African-American boys," she said. "There are many other Calebs out there."
"African-American boys like him,” she continued. "From being a teacher — I really believe that. But they don’t have the opportunity or the resources."