At 12 years old, Caleb Anderson has the makings of a young man destined for greatness. He’s already jumped from grade school or even high school. In fact, he’s currently a college sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia. That’s right — a sophomore.
According to 11Alive in Georgia, the 12-year-old has been a gifted child from birth, learning to speak and read before he turned one. A year later, Anderson was able to read the United States Constitution and at three, he could speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, English and American Sign Language.
“By nine months old, he was able to sign over 250 words, and by 11-months-old, he was speaking and reading,” Caleb’s father Kobi said. “As we started to interact with other parents, and had other children, then we started to realize how exceptional the experience was because we had no other frame of reference.”
MENSA, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world, inducted Caleb when he was 5. According to Caleb’s parents, he is the youngest Black boy to be inducted into the society. After a few years spent in elementary and middle school, Caleb’s mom Claire noticed her child was progressing through far quicker than other students.
“He said, ‘Mom, I’m bored. This is not challenging. It’s really not helping me grow in my learning, and I think I’m ready for college,'” Claire said.
At 11, Caleb enrolled at Chattahoochee Technical College, majoring in aerospace engineering. His father Kobi has to be his chaperone due to his age but, Kobi can’t help him with his homework. Because Kobi knows Caleb is too far advanced for his help.
As far as nurturing Caleb’s gifts, his parents said that it is essential to build on them and make certain not to push them into an idea of who they think their child should be.
“Fully invest in the skills and talents your child has and remember there are free resources. Focus on creating a love for learning, not just the learning itself,” the couple said.
To them, they realize that Caleb isn’t an outlier or a young boy whose gifts are rare. The couple has two other children who are gifted and well-educated and Claire Anderson herself is a teacher who is surrounded by smart Black and brown children every day.
“I think people have a negative perspective when it comes to African-American boys. 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 opportunity or resources,” Claire said.