The child science prodigy transferred as a sophomore from Chattahoochee Technical College
The youngest Black boy to be accepted in the “High IQ Society” (MENSA) is attending his first day of class at Georgia Tech this week.
Caleb Anderson, 13, has kicked off his first semester at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he plans to major in aerospace engineering.
“The classes try to be intimidating, but they’re really not. They’re just really average classes almost with just a lot more people and more technology,” Caleb explained about his first day, 11 Alive reports.
“It’s definitely exciting. I’m nervous; I don’t want to screw up,” he said.
“Seeing him in his domain after all these years is exciting and fulfilling. Definitely a moment of nervousness for sure,” Caleb’s dad, Kobi, said.
theGrio previously reported that Caleb’s excellence was demonstrated through his ability to learn sign language at nine-months-old and solve math problems before the age of two. But it’s not all about the books. Caleb’s mother, Claire, previously said she wants “to make sure that when he is an adult, he’ll make a great husband, a great father, a great friend one day.”
Claire admits she often worries if she has done enough as a parent to prepare her son for this next chapter in his life.
“The feeling have you done enough? I think that’s a mom thing that we struggle with,” she said in a new interview with Fox 5 Atlanta. “Have I prepared him enough? Does he have everything that he needs? Have I taught him enough to be polite?”
She also hopes her son knows it is “okay to make mistakes.”
“Mistakes are proof that you are trying and you know because he might come in and get a bad grade, but for him to know, ‘Okay, let’s pick myself back up and keep going,’” Claire Anderson explained. “Have I built a safe environment if he says, ‘Okay, this is not what I want to do?’”
The child science prodigy transferred to Georgia Tech as a sophomore from Chattahoochee Technical College.
“Caleb Anderson was just 3 when became the youngest Black American male to qualify for MENSA,” the Georgia Institute of Technology wrote to PEOPLE. “Now 12, Caleb has been officially accepted to Georgia Tech and will join us on campus this fall to earn a degree in aerospace engineering.”
MENSA is a non-profit organization for people who score in the 98th percentile or higher in a standardized intelligence test.
“There are really two things that I want to go into,” said Caleb. “First, rocketry, you know space exploration, things like that. I think that’s a very interesting prospect and I’d really, really like to go into that and you know, I also want to do commercial aircraft.”
Caleb’s parents hope his journey encourages other children to think big when it comes to mapping out a future career.
“We’re hoping that maybe when someone sees another child, a 12-year-old, 13-year-old child, they might see this could be a future aerospace engineer, somebody that can make a difference. So, trying to change the vision when they see a young, Black man. I think that’s why it’s important for us and also to inspire other young boys that there is more to life than YouTuber or TikTok or basketball, whatever it is,” said Claire Anderson.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, Caleb hopes to go to MIT to work on a Ph.D.
“Hopefully I am here until I’m 18. They did say it was a five-year program, so maybe 19,” Caleb explained.
theGrio’s Jessica Floyd contributed to this report.
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