Caleb Anderson: The 12-Year-Old College Sophomore Studying Aerospace Engineering

by Duke Magazine

Obviously, Caleb Anderson is not the regular 12-year-old lifestyle of a kid we have around.

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

He began to show his brilliance from the time he was in diapers, learning sign language to effectively communicate before he could even speak. He leveled up even further by learning to read the United States Constitution 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,” shared Anderson’s family.

At the age of three, Anderson could already speak Spanish, Mandarin, and French on top of his native language English. He also qualified for MENSA, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. This society is only open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a supervised, standardized, 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,” said Anderson’s father, Kobi.

After two years of qualifying for MENSA, Anderson’s admission at the age of five, made him the youngest African American boy to become a member of the society during that period.

Anderson’s mother says their decision to enroll him in college stemmed from not only his outstanding performances from lower school through high school, but his desire to push himself to learn more.

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

Although he’s young, Anderson never allows his age to get in the way, noting that his college experience was exactly how he envisioned it would be if he were older.

“It was exactly how I expected it to be like if I were 18 or something,” he tells 11Alive.

While their son may be a boy-genius, Anderson’s parents believe that there are many others out there equally as gifted as he is, but says that people have to move beyond stereotypes and give them the support that they need.

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

While Anderson has already had major accomplishments, he also has his sights set on furthering his education at Georgia Tech and possibly MIT.

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