If you think graduating from high school is hard, imagine doing it when you are only nine years old. That’s what David Balogun, a boy from Pennsylvania, did this year. He is one of the youngest people in the U.S. to earn a high school diploma, and he has already started taking college courses online. His dream is to become an astrophysicist and study black holes and supernovas.
David’s extraordinary journey began when he was six years old and his parents tested his intellect. They realized that he was gifted and needed more challenging and personalized education than what regular schools could offer. His mother, Ronya Balogun, who has a master’s degree in public health, and his father, Henry Balogun, who has a doctorate in engineering, decided to enroll him in Reach Cyber Charter School, a tuition-free online school based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
At Reach Cyber, David was able to learn at his own pace and take advanced courses in science, math, and computer programming. He also had supportive teachers who encouraged him and helped him achieve his goals. “They didn’t bog me down,” David said. “They … advocated for me, saying, ‘He can do this. He can do that.'”
David graduated from high school in late January 2023, making him one of the youngest known high school graduates in history, according to oldest.org. The only person younger than him on that list is Michael Kearney, who graduated at age six in 1990 and went on to earn two master’s degrees and win more than $1 million on game shows.
After graduating from high school, David enrolled in online classes at Bucks County Community College, where he says he completes a week’s worth of homework in a single day. He is also a member of Mensa, the high IQ society. His parents say that raising a child with such an extraordinary intellect is not easy, but they try to balance his academic needs with his social and emotional development. “I had to get outside of the box,” Ronya said. “Playing pillow fights when you’re not supposed to, throwing the balls in the house. He’s a nine-year-old with the brain that has the capacity to understand and comprehend a lot of concepts beyond his years and sometimes beyond my understanding.”
David’s passion is astrophysics, the branch of physics that deals with the origin, structure, and evolution of the universe and its celestial bodies. He wants to study black holes and supernovas, which are some of the most mysterious and fascinating phenomena in the cosmos. “I want to be an astrophysicist,” he said. “And I want to study black holes and supernovas.”
Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light. They are formed when massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. Supernovas are powerful explosions that occur when massive stars run out of fuel and explode, releasing enormous amounts of energy and matter into space. Both black holes and supernovas are important for understanding how the universe works and how it evolves over time.
David is not alone in his interest in astrophysics. There are many scientists around the world who are working on unraveling the mysteries of the universe using telescopes, satellites, detectors, and computers. Some of the most famous astrophysicists include Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Lisa Randall, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Kip Thorne, Vera Rubin, and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.
David hopes to join their ranks someday and contribute to the advancement of human knowledge about the universe. He has a long way to go before he achieves his dream, but he is not daunted by the challenge. He is motivated by his curiosity and his love for learning. He is also inspired by his role models, such as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.
David is an exceptional boy with an exceptional mind. He has achieved something remarkable at a very young age, but he is not resting on his laurels. He is eager to learn more and explore new horizons. He is a shining example of what human potential can accomplish with dedication, support, and passion.
: 9-Year-Old Boy Who Wants to Be an Astrophysicist Graduates from High School
: 10 Youngest High School Graduates in History
: Michael Kearney – Wikipedia
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: Pennsylvania boy, nine, becomes one of the youngest ever high school graduates