Article First Published in May 2019
Sydney Wilson is not your average teenager. She is a prodigy who has been excelling academically since she was a toddler. But instead of preparing to attend high school in the fall like most kids her age, Wilson will make history by becoming the youngest student ever to attend Spelman College.
This incredible Atlanta teenager just became the youngest student ever admitted to Spelman at 14 years old!! She applied to the prestigious historically black women’s college when she was only 13 years old, and received her acceptance letter in May, just a week after her 14th birthday .
Wilson’s educational journey started at a Montessori school, followed by a period of homeschooling, and then enrollment at her father’s private school, Wilson Academy in Lithonia. That’s where she started taking high school classes at age 10. She excelled in subjects like algebra, biology, and Chinese, and earned a 3.7 GPA.
Wilson said she always knew she was different from other students in her class, and faced some teasing for being “too smart”. But she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her passion for learning. “I just stayed on my path,” Wilson said. “I didn’t really feel like I needed to be popular or liked – I like myself.”
Wilson’s parents, who are both engineers, supported her academic aspirations and encouraged her to apply to Spelman College, which is known for its excellence in STEM fields. Wilson said she was drawn to Spelman because of its legacy of producing successful black women leaders, such as Stacey Abrams, Alice Walker, and Marian Wright Edelman.
Wilson plans to major in biology because she wants to use animal science to come up with cures for human ailments. She also has a keen interest in coding and video game design, and has created her own gaming company called Skipper Co. She hopes to combine her love for animals and technology to create innovative solutions for the world’s problems.
Wilson is not only a brilliant student, but also a well-rounded person who enjoys other activities in school. She plays soccer, basketball, and volleyball, and is a member of several clubs, including the yearbook committee, the math team, and the coding club. She also loves music and plays the piano and the guitar.
Wilson said she is not worried about the age gap between her and her future classmates at Spelman. She said she has been with older kids all her life, and is confident that she will fit in socially. “I’ve been with the older kids all my life, so socially, I don’t think it will be a problem for me,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s story is not only inspiring, but also remarkable. According to statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), only 0.4% of college students in the U.S. are under the age of 15. Moreover, only 6% of black women have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Wilson is defying the odds and breaking barriers with her extraordinary achievement.
Wilson said she hopes to inspire other young girls to pursue their dreams and not let anything hold them back. “I just want to say that if you’re young or older or whatever age you are, you can do anything that you put your mind to,” Wilson said.
Sydney is a go-getter and a very intelligent young lady. We at Rising Africa are honored to showcase her academic journey and success. You are truly a Rising African and an able role model for the new African. Rising Africa is a dynamic platform that highlights the remarkable achievements of Blacks and Africans worldwide and provides up-to-date information on scholarships and sponsorships available to African youth. Our vision is to inspire and empower the next generation of African leaders by showcasing the diverse accomplishments and talents of Africans across different fields, including technology, business, arts and culture, and social activism.
Through our Success Stories portal, we celebrate Rising Africans of all ages and sectors who have risen above challenges and made impactful innovations. Our Wonder Kids section features young achievers aged 1-12, while the Super Teens category highlights those aged 13-19, and Young Achievers profiles those aged 20-30. We also have dedicated portals for Women in Africa and persons living with disabilities.
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