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Sep 1, 2009 1:07 PM by Michael Flynn

Gifted 14-year-old begins sophomore year in college

As the school year gets under way at Howard University, one of the new faces on campus already has done enough work to rise to sophomore standing. And he's only 14 years old.

"To me it's just normal, you know," Ty Hobson-Powell said. "I'm just in a different environment. Couple of older kids, but it‘s nothing different."

The D.C. teen is Howard's youngest student, having completed his high school requirements in just two years. His Howard classmates are shocked by his age and accomplishments, but many said they admire that and respect Ty for it.

He's living among them in a campus dorm so he doesn't miss out on too much of the college experience before he moves on to his career dreams.

"I wouldn't knock down the offer to be president, like Barack Obama," he said.

A political science major, Ty rose to sophomore standing with the help of community college classes and online courses. He plans to spend no more time as an undergrad than he did as a high school student.

"Well, I hope to go into kind of like an incorporation of law and medicine, because I want to go to medical school and law school," he said.

His parents knew he was gifted at a very young age.

"Before he even had teeth in his mouth, he was actually talking," said his father, who teaches pediatric medicine at Howard.

As a 3-year-old, Ty began to learn Chinese, giving him a leg up on his classmates -- and pretty much the vast majority of the rest of us -- when he started the first grade at 4 years old.

"I'm extremely proud of Ty, and I just thank God," his mother said. "I think we're really blessed."

 

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