From The Big Bang Theory to quests for good intentions, the young prodigy exhibits a certain cultural appeal. But for the truly gifted child, learning is only part of childhood. Nine-year-old David Balogun recently made history as one of the youngest ever to graduate from high school. A brilliant student wants to be an astrophysicist, but he's also just an ordinary boy aiming for a black belt in martial arts.
Balogun, a member of Mensa, graduated from the Reach Cyber Charter School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (The boy attended classes remotely and not with older children.) He loves science and computer programming. "I want to be an astrophysicist and study black holes and supernovae," he told a local news channel.
Balogun thanks his beloved teachers for protecting him despite his young age. "You didn't tire me," he said. "They ... protected me by saying, 'He can do this. He can do it." His teachers were clearly impressed. Cody Derr, his science teacher, commented, "David was an inspirational kid who was definitely the kind and changed the way you think about learning.”
For Balogun's parents, who both have college degrees, raising a 9-year-old genius is fraught with difficulties. "I had to go beyond that," said his mother, Ronya. "Play pillow fights when you shouldn't, throw balls at the house. He's a 9-year-old with a brain capable of grasping and comprehending many concepts beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding."
Like other children his age, Balogun practices martial arts and plays the piano. He's also into sports. After high school, Balogun spent a semester at a local college. Now his parents are looking for a suitable college education for him. "Do I send my nine-year-old to Harvard while I live in [Pennsylvania]?" his father Henry joked. "No."
Balogun is believed to be the second youngest person to ever graduate from high school. He loses first place to Michael Kearney, who graduated from high school in 1990 at the age of six. At 14, Kearney received his first master's degree and won big money on game shows. Balogun predates well-known journalist Ronan Farrow, who graduated at the age of 11. Of course, for a brilliant boy like Balogun, the sky (and the very supernovae he chooses to study) is the limit.