A 9-year-old in Pennsylvania just received his high school diploma

'I want to study black holes and supernovas.'
Nergis Firtina
Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign
Pennsylvania Welcomes You road sign


One of the youngest high school grads, a nine-year-old Pennsylvanian kid who enjoys science and computer programming, is already racking up credits toward his college degree.

As Guardian reported from WGAL on Feb.05, after taking lessons online from his home in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem, David Balogun just obtained a diploma from the Reach cyber charter school in Harrisburg.

After completing his studies, David Balogun told WGAL that he already knew what he wanted to do for a living. “I want to be an astrophysicist, and I want to study black holes and supernovas,” he said.

“I had to get outside of the box,” David’s mother, Ronya Balogun, said to the WGAL. “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 Balogun, an 'unusually' gifted student

David Balogun revealed to WGAL that a few of his favorite professors kept him interested in his work and encouraged him to advance. “They didn’t bog me down,” he said. “They … advocated for me, saying, ‘He can do this. He can do that.”

David's teachers concurred that they gained knowledge from their unusually gifted student, known to his family as a computer programmer and science. “David was an inspirational kid, definitely one who changes the way you think about teaching," his teacher Cody Derr said.

Since graduating from Reach Charter, David, a Mensa high IQ group member, has also spent one semester at Bucks County Community College.

What is Mensa?

Mensa, or Mensa International, is the world's largest and most established high-IQ organization. It is a non-profit organization that accepts applicants with an IQ or other type of authorized intelligence test score of at least the 98th percentile.

There are around 134,000 members of Mensa International, spread over 54 national organizations and 100 nations. Periodicals are published by national groups, such as American Mensa's Mensa Bulletin and British Mensa's Mensa Magazine, which are both published monthly.

People who reside in a nation with a national group join that nation's group, whereas those who reside in nations without an official chapter may immediately join Mensa International.

Local groups are further grouped into larger national groups. American Mensa, for instance, has 134 local chapters, the largest of which has more than 2,000 members and the smallest, less than 100.

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