13-Year-Old Boy Earns Fourth Associate's Degree as He Becomes California's Youngest College Graduate Ever | 22 Words

A thirteen-year-old boy has made history, becoming California's youngest college graduate after obtaining multiple associate's degrees from Fullerton College.

And now his mom has spoken out on what it's like to be raising such a gifted child.

 

It's a tough time to be a parent right now.

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Like bringing up children wasn't already challenging enough, the global pandemic has brought us into full lockdown.

This means that most major stores have closed their doors...

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And millions of bars and restaurants have been closed for months now, resulting in a huge drop in the economy.

And, on top of all this, schools have also been closed.

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All over the world, children have been sent home from school to self-isolate in the safety of their own homes.

And here in America, several State leaders have also enforced closures upon their schools.

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Our famous yellow school buses have been ground to a halt indefinitely as our fight against the pandemic continues.

Quite understandably, many parents are struggling with these new sanctions.

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As any parent will know, keeping children cooped up indoors for an extended period of time is a recipe for disaster. And these parents have found themselves doing the very thing they hoped they'd never have to do... Homeschooling.

With their children's schools closed down indefinitely...

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Parents have been left with little choice but to educate their children themselves.

And it turns out that homeschooling isn't the easiest of tasks...

And many parents have been coming forward to admit that they don't make the best teachers.

Things are even harder for parents of teenagers.

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Hundreds of thousands of teenagers who were ready to graduate this year have been left studying at home... and let's face it, their workload won't exactly be easy.

But one thirteen-year-old boy from California makes it all look easy...

Jack Rico has just hit his teens and already graduated from college with not 1, not 2, not even 3, but 4 associate's degrees from Fullerton College.

This has made him the youngest person ever to graduate from the institution.

Imagine being able to hold 1 actual degree in your hands, let alone 4. Jack is really out here showing us that if you put your mind to it, you can really achieve anything.

Jack started his journey at the age of eleven...

That's when he enrolled onto his first college course and only a mere 2 years later has he now got a quartet of degrees under his belt.

Jack's mom, Andrade said she always knew he wasn't just an "average kid."

She told PEOPLE that her son was different from as young as 3 years old when he asked to visit the White House for his birthday.

"I told him that was a big trip for a little guy."

So instead, she set him a challenge: "I [said I] would take him if he could learn all the presidents. A week later he said, 'Mom, I have a confession to make. I already knew all the presidents, but I learned all the vice presidents if that will still count?'"

His mom also mentioned that he "struggled in public schools."

That's why, when he hit the third grade, she decided to start homeschooling him in order to focus on the areas he was "weaker" at.

But by the age of eleven, he needed a new challenge.

"When he was 11, I knew he needed more of a challenge and a better teacher than me," she says. That's what prompted her to enroll him into Fullerton College's Bridge Program, which allows K-12 students who pass placement exams to attend, despite their age.

And there was no stopping him after that.

"He started out just taking one class and he absolutely loved it," she says. "He just kept requesting taking more and more classes."

And even though the current pandemic has made it difficult for him to attend the graduation...

His family has planned a special drive-by event in La Mirada so they can celebrate his amazing achievements.

So what's next for this talented, young teen?

Well, according to his mom, he will be attending the University of Nevada in the fall on a full scholarship. His family currently cannot move out of the state, but Jack will be taking classes every other day while commuting back and forth from the institution.

Jack told KABC News that he doesn't want to rush into things.

“I’m 13, so I don’t want to rush everything," he told KABC. “I’m still trying to figure it out, but I just want to focus on learning right now. That’s what I love to do."

His mom elaborated saying his achievements don't come easy...

"Jack is not a genius, he just works really hard. We are so happy for Jack and all his academic accomplishments, however, he is an even more awesome human being. He has a sister with autism that he has just been an amazing brother to."

"It has been a pure joy having Jack as a son and I couldn't be any prouder of him."

What an exceptional story. We wish Jack the best in his next steps of education. If you want to read more uplifting stories, then keep scrolling...