A Kansas teenager received a degree from Harvard hardly a week after he graduated high school.
Braxton Moral collected his high school diploma on Sunday in Ulysses, Kansas and after just 11 days, on May 30,2019, he will also take home his undergraduate degree from Harvard Extension School.
“When I was younger, school got a little boring for me,” he told CNN. “I needed to stimulate my education, stimulate growth.”
When he was 11 years old, Braxton started taking classes online at Harvard’s extension school during his summer days from the last few years, on campus in Cambridge. Good Morning America reported that he’s taken mostly government classes and he wishes to enter politics.
“I’m relieved to have a little bit of a head start,” Braxton told GMA. “I thought it really broadened my horizons. It helped me understand new things and what I want to do [in life].”
Kevin McGrath, who is an associate professor in South Asian Studies at Harvard University, told GMA the teen is “a remarkable and unique young scholar.”
“Intellectually, he is extraordinary, but more than that, it is his discipline and endeavor which has enabled him to begin adult life with such startling success,” said McGrath.
His mother, Julie Moral, told the New York Times that he was extraordinary since he was the age of 2 or 3 and she knew her son’s outstanding intellectual abilities. At his older siblings’ volleyball games, the toddler “calculated mathematical differences in the scores,” the Times reported.
One of Braxton’s sisters, Brittney Jo Segar, 29, told GMA to describe his brother that she first noticed her baby brother’s outsized intellect around 18 months. “He always said big words and was different,” she said.
He skipped the fourth grade and continue to blossom intellectually, Braxton also became depressed. The Duke University Talent Identification Program pinpointed his problem.
“They said he was having existential depression,” his mother told the Times. “It’s where you’re like, ‘What’s my purpose? Is there a God?’ It’s something that most people have, a midlife crisis. He had it like, in fifth grade.”
Braxton has also shared his experiences through a book written by him, Harvard in the Heartland, with hopes to attend Columbia University’s law school to study constitutional law.
He told GMA that he would advise to all the kids and teens is to explore your inner quality, and do what you are interested in as early as possible. His mother’s advice? “I told him, he can do whatever he wants,” Julia Moral told the Times, “as long as he changes the world and makes it better.”