Getting four college degrees in two years is a feat in itself. Now imagine doing it at 13. That’s exactly what Jack Rico, a 13-year-old from California, did.
Last week, Rico became Fullerton College’s youngest graduate in the school’s 107 years of history.
He took home degrees in history, human expression, social behaviour and social science, all while maintaining his 4.0 GPA, he told CNN.
“I just love learning new stuff,” he said. “I love knowing more about the world and all the different things we could study.”
He started studying at Fullerton when he was only 11, completing all four degrees in just two years.
“It has been pure joy having Jack as a son and I couldn’t be any prouder of him,” mom Ru Andrade told People.
Andrade sais she has always known her son was special, ever since he asked to visit the White House for his fourth birthday.
“I told him that was a big trip for a little guy, and that I would take him if he could learn all the presidents,” she said. “A week later, he said, ‘Mom, I have a confession to make. I already knew all the presidents, but I learned all the vice presidents if that will still count?'”
She started homeschooling him when she realized he was struggling to be challenged in public school.
“When he was 11, I knew he needed more of a challenge and a better teacher than me,” she told the magazine.
That was when she decided to enroll him in Fullerton College’s Bridge Program, which allows kindergarten to Grade 12 students to attend upon passing placement tests.
After passing, he started off by taking one class and slowly kept taking more and more.
Though the future of schooling is uncertain given the coronavirus pandemic, Rico says he’ll be heading to the University of Nevada in the fall with a full scholarship.
“I’m 13, so I don’t want to rush everything,” Rico told KABC-TV. “I’m still trying to figure it out, but I just want to focus on learning right now.
“That’s what I love to do.”
While Rico may seem like a boy genius, his mom asserts that he’s just dedicated and passionate.
“Jack is not a genius, he just works really hard,” Andrade told People. “We are so happy for Jack and all his academic accomplishments, however, he is an even more awesome human being.”