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‘There’s Been Moments of Intense Fear, Anxiety and Joy’: What Life Is Like for 13-Year-Old Black Genius Who Just Began His Freshman Year at Georgia Tech

Caleb Anderson, the 13-year-old genius, who learned sign language before he could talk and could read the U.S. Constitution by 2 years old, is now a freshman at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Caleb is eager to begin his studies but admits relating to others around him can be “weird” at times. 

For Caleb, intense math and science is just par for the course. While many of his peers are still traversing middle school, he is one of a kind on the campus of Georgia Tech. The genius admits the next step is going to take a bit more brain power than he’s used to using.

“I’m taking calculus, chemistry, and a lab for it and I’m taking materials sciences and materials engineering and I’m taking introduction to aerospace. It’s a lot of work,” said Caleb.

Caleb wants to become an aerospace engineer. Given his intellect, achieving such a goal is something his parents, Kobi and Claire Anderson, fully expect him to reach.

“From 4 weeks old, she noticed something different. The way he was tracking her throughout the room, and she’s an educator, so she can spot some of those things. I wasn’t a true believer until he was about 8 or 9 months old,” said Caleb’s father.

Within the last decade, Caleb has excelled and graduated several schools including Atlanta Gifted Academy by age 8, and in 2020, he was a sophomore at Chattahoochee Technical College by age 12. Kobi Anderson, a sales director in IT, admits raising such a gifted son does come with its own unique challenges.

“There’s been moments of intense dread and fear, and anxiety mixed with joy and excitement to see him come into his own and come into his own at an early age and break barriers,” said Kobi Anderson.

Relating to people around him has been another peculiar experience for Caleb. He says the age difference in the classroom makes it difficult to converse with his older peers. 

“I usually like to keep a low profile; I really don’t know what to say when I’m talking to a lot of these people because they’re so much older than me. I know they’re interested in me and like talking to me but it’s sort of weird for me,” said Caleb.

Caleb’s relationship with his 8-year-old brother and 9-year-old sister can also be challenging at times.

“Even if I try to do something I don’t usually end up doing anything with them because I don’t have too much I can relate to them with, but we do hang out every once in a while,” Caleb said.

Caleb says he tries to keep his social and school life separate. His busy course load this semester will likely keep him busy. 

Kobi credits his son’s resiliency to keep him pushing the limits. He also notes one of the biggest lessons he and his wife have learned through raising Caleb is to always be your child’s biggest advocate.

“Raise the child you have, not the child you want. There’s nothing wrong with advocating for your child and we should do that unashamedly,” said Kobi Anderson.

After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology, Caleb plans to earn his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He hopes to get an internship with Space X, NASA, Lockheed, or Boeing.

After his schooling, Caleb wants to start his own aerospace company for gifted students who want to study aerospace but may lack the resources.

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