Another Early College Story
Following on the Mary Baldwin post, here's a story of a youngster going to an A-list college at an early age. Joe Fang, a senior at North Gwinnett High School in Georgia, is most likely on his way to MIT next fall. He's also 15 years old. You can read his profile in the Gwinnett Daily Post, here .
I found a few absolutely refreshing statements in this article. First, Joe's acceleration began when an elementary school teacher noticed he was very bright, and decided to test him to see if he could take more advanced classes. “She realized that I had a special talent in math,” Joe said. “I did really well, so they let me keep going.” Did I read that right? "They let me keep going..." He was simply allowed to work at his own pace. No one got particularly angst-ridden about it. What a contrast between this situation and the district in Kentucky I wrote about recently that sent a family a bill for having the audacity to put their 5-year-old daughter in first grade!
Second, what about the "problem" of being much younger than his classmates? Apparently Joe didn't get too stressed out about that either. “They knew I was younger, and a lot of them already knew me,” Joe said of his classmates. “I really was not scared at all because I was already used to taking classes with older kids.”
I'm glad Joe had an understanding school system that saw no reason to hold him back when he was capable of doing more advanced work. The article notes that mom and dad are a little worried about sending him so far away for college, but my guess is that he'll do OK. Hopefully there will be a follow up article letting us know, so we can add this story to the "Lives of Purpose" collection from Mary Baldwin.