Most kids finish elementary school at age 11. Sacramento prodigy Tanishq Abraham just graduated from college at age 11 – with three degrees.

Tanishq started kindergarten at Heron Elementary a few years ago, skipped first grade, completed second grade, and started taking classes at American River College when he was 7, easily becoming its youngest student.

His mom, Taji, gave up a career as a veterinarian and simultaneously home-schooled Tanishq and his sister. The boy finished high school last year and started taking college classes full time, his parents said.

“He pretty much breezed through it,” said his dad, Bijou Abraham.

His family and friends gathered Sunday to celebrate his latest accomplishment: associate’s degrees from ARC in general science; math and physical science; and foreign language studies.

Most of Tanishq’s ARC classmates and fellow graduates were in their late teens, early 20s or older. He said fitting in and learning at ARC was never a problem.

“Some of them are intimidated,” Tanishq said. “Others are really glad I’m in their class.”

Asked about the difficulty of taking college courses while so young, Tanishq replied, “It’s not really too hard for me,” though he acknowledged that his last semester was “busy” and packed with courses.

When not at school, Tanishq likes playing video games and swimming, Bijou Abraham said. The family makes sure he spends time with friends his age, but Tanishq is comfortable learning amid older students.

“He handles it pretty well,” Bijou Abraham said. “He is very social, outgoing. Nothing fazes him.”

Tanishq’s sister, Tiara, also takes classes at ARC. She’s 9.

Tiara was recently inducted into an honors society at ARC, her dad said.

“She’s more into kind of the arts. She likes to sing,” said Bijou Abraham, adding that Tiara also takes Spanish and Italian classes.

Tanishq hopes to attend Stanford University or a University of California campus to major in biomedical engineering or a related field. First, he must complete some advanced science courses.

“I just like studying about nature,” he said.

Phillip Reese:  @PhillipHReese


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