Elijah Muhammad Jr. is not your average 12-year-old. He is a high school senior, a state champion wrestler, a coding enthusiast, and a college freshman majoring in cybersecurity. He is also making history as the youngest Black college student in the state of Oklahoma, according to several news sources .
Elijah is currently enrolled in three courses at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC), where he started his freshman year last month. He is also completing his high school diploma through Prep One Collegiate Academy, a homeschool program run by his father, Elijah Muhammad Sr.
Elijah’s father told Atlanta Black Star that he noticed his son’s exceptional abilities when he was just 2 years old. “He was very attentive, and there were things I noticed from when he was 2 years old that were just different, and I was like it’s time to cultivate this,” he said .
Elijah’s father also said that his homeschool program differs from traditional public education because it tailors the lessons to the students’ individual learning styles. “We try to expose you to as many different types of learning and different types of learning styles. Some people are hands-on, some people learn by video, audio or reading, there are multiple methods, and I’m saying, why are we being told there’s only one way,” he explained .
Elijah’s academic achievements are even more impressive considering that he scored 17 on the ACT test, beating the average score of 16 for Black high school seniors, according to the National Center for Education Statistics . He has also received a full scholarship from Rust College, a historically Black college in Mississippi . He said he is excited about getting more scholarships in the future. “I’ve seen my sister get multiple scholarships and I was like, man, I can’t wait until I start getting my scholarships,” he told Atlanta Black Star .
Elijah’s sister, Shania Muhammad, is another prodigy in the family. She made history as the youngest graduate from Langston University and Oklahoma Community College with two associate’s degrees on the same day . She was also the youngest person to enroll at OCCC at 13 years old, a record that Elijah has now broken .
Elijah said that his classmates at OCCC were surprised to see someone his age in their classes. “A bunch of them were like, ‘How old are you?’ Once I told them my age, they all got surprised,” he recalled to KFor . He also said that he enjoys running and playing coding games on his computer, as well as having a social life with friends .
Elijah’s father said that his son will definitely be going to an HBCU after graduating from OCCC. “A hundred percent, he will be going to an HBCU walking in the legacy in his mom,” he said . Elijah’s mother recently earned her doctorate from Hampton University and currently serves as an assistant professor and director of operations at Langston University .
Elijah has not decided yet where he will attend school next year, but he said he is keeping his options open. He is interested in cybersecurity because he wants to protect people’s data and privacy online. “I want to help people with their security and stuff because I know there are a lot of hackers out there that like to hack into things,” he said to KFor .
Elijah is an inspiration for many young people who aspire to pursue higher education and achieve their dreams. He is also a testament to the importance of nurturing and supporting gifted students of color who often face barriers and challenges in the traditional school system. Elijah is proof that with hard work, dedication, and passion, anything is possible.