Harrisburg, PA

9-year-old is the youngest person to graduate high school

Andrei Tapalaga

The first boy to graduate high school at the age of 9Photo byYouTube/WGALTV

After graduating from high school, a 9-year-old Pennsylvania kid who ambitions of becoming an astrophysicist is one step closer to his goal.

David Balogun began his education at Harrisburg's Reach Cyber Charter School as a third-grader and has now earned his high school graduation after completing the requisite subjects virtually from his home in Bensalem.

"I wanted to do it because I had the ability to do it," Balogun told WPMT-TV. "So why not use those abilities for the greater good?"

The 9-year-old claimed he didn't set out to go to college at such a young age, but once he learned it was feasible, he made it his goal.

"At the beginning, I just wanted to graduate early," David said. "And then after third grade, the teacher said that I should go to fourth grade … so at that point, I decided I want to graduate at the age of 10. And my mom said, if you put the effort in, we will advocate for you and you probably will be able to graduate at the age of nine. So I decided, OK, I'll graduate at the age of nine."

David graduated as the youngest student from Reach Cyber Charter School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is now enrolled at Bucks County Community College.

"As my mom puts it, my favorite subject is learning new things," David said. "Whether it's art, math, science, English, social studies, I'll be happy to learn something new."

He said he appreciates math and physics, particularly nuclear chemistry, and he intends to work in astronomy, engineering, or software development one day.

When he is not studying, David enjoys making robots and viewing online videos on topics ranging from astrophysics to physiology.

David's mom, Ronya Balogun said her message to other parents is to support your child whenever possible.

"It's very rewarding but you have to kind of get yourself outside of the box and be able to see things outside of the system and advocate and speak up and not give up," she said.

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