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10-Year-Old Boy Graduates From High School

10-Year-Old Boy Graduates From High School, Aims to Cure Cancer
By Elise Solé, Shine Staff | Parenting

Tanishq Abraham graduated from high school on Sunday with a 4.0 GPA and a Mensa membership — he’s also 10 years old.

The pintsize prodigy, who lives in Sacramento, Calif., with his parents and 8-year-old sister, Tiara (who is also a Mensa member), also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama just in time for his big day. “I sensed there was something different about Tanishq when he was 6 months old because he became very interested in clocks and numbers — he started counting and could point out numbers when he saw them in books,” Tanishq’s mother, veterinarian Taji Abraham, tells Yahoo Shine. “He would also stare very intently at photos and ask so many questions. I always wondered, ‘Why is he so curious?’”

By the time Tanishq was 2, he was adding and subtracting numbers. “I told my husband that Tanishq was very smart, but he said I was just a proud mom,” she says. “But a friend who was a kindergarten teacher insisted that Tanishq was different.” Abraham and her husband wanted to test their son’s IQ but were advised to wait until he was a little older to get a more accurate reading. When Tanishq turned 4, he scored in the 99.9th percentile on an IQ test (Abraham declined to provide her son’s precise IQ).

Abraham had heard about Mensa, a society for people with high IQs, and hoped that a membership would lead to better educational opportunities. After Mensa confirmed the boy’s IQ by having him undergo more testing, Tanishq was admitted into the group. (Mensa requires members to have an IQ in the 98th percentile.)

By the time Tanishq turned 6, he was "pestering" his mother to take paleontology college classes. After he skipped first grade, Abraham began homeschooling her son and allowed him to enroll in college courses at American River College in Sacramento while he studied for his high school degree. Tiara also joined Mensa when she was 4 and started homeschooling two years later. She loves dogs and cats and wants to become a veterinarian like her mom one day.

Despite her children’s high intelligence, Abraham insists they are grounded. “They have friends their age and older from their classes; however, we never let them forget that we are their parents,” she says. “While we learn from them, they have to respect us because they’re children.” Both kids also participate in extracurricular activities — Tanishq and Tiara are involved in chorus, swim, and play the piano. “Education is just one part of their lives,” says Abraham.

In September, Tanishq will be a full-time student at American River College where he'll take on a five-class course load. He hopes to graduate with an associate's degree by the end of his fall semester. Then, Tanishq will transfer as a junior to another university. "He would like to attend either Harvard, MIT, or Cornell," says Abraham. After that, he wants to enroll in medical school and then research a cure for cancer — a goal he’s had since he was 4. Knowing Tanishq, it's hard to imagine he won't reach it.

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