Things That Matter

A 13-Year-Old Student Just Became A California College’s Youngest Graduate

Thirteen-year-old Jack Rico might not be able to drive but he’s going full speed ahead when it comes to his education.

The California-based teenager has wracked up a handful of college degrees under belt including an associate’s degree from Fullerton College which he earned this week.

Rico’s latest degree makes him officially the youngest graduate student from the community college.

Rico started taking college courses at the age of eleven and has since spent his time earning different degrees. “It has been a pure joy having Jack as a son and I couldn’t be any prouder of him,” Ru Andrade told People magazine in a recent interview.

It turns out, Rico has loved learning for years now, proving himself to be, as his mother describes “not your average kid.” When Rico was just 3 years old when he took a visit to the White House for his 4th birthday. “I told him that was a big trip for a little guy, and that I would take him if he could learn all the presidents,” she explained in an interview. “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?'”

According to Andrade, Rico actually had a rough start to his education.

Rico started his education in public school but struggled with the work until his mother decided to have him homeschooled when he was in third grade so that he could focus on his areas of weakness.

“When he was 11, I knew he needed more of a challenge and a better teacher than me,” Andrade explained. To do so she enrolled Rico in Fullerton College’s Bridge Program. “He started out just taking one class and he absolutely loved it. He just kept requesting taking more and more classes.”

While Rico won’t be able to attend a traditional graduation ceremony to celebrate his achievements this year due to coronavirus restrictions, his family has planned a special drive-by event in La Mirada to celebrate.

Turns, out four degrees, isn’t enough for Rico.

Rico is due to attend the University of Nevada this coming fall on a full scholarship. He’ll take classes Monday through Wednesday, and will commute. He reportedly will focus his studies on history.

“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 too,” Andrade explained.

Check out a video about Rico and his achievements below.

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