The Cobb County, Ga., teen wants to start a natural cosmetic company that, among other things, will create products to cure wrinkles, his mother, Monique McCord told USA TODAY.
“I want to be a cosmetic chemist. I want to start my own line of chemical products, the beauty of things,” McKenzie told FOX 5 Atlanta.
To do that, he’ll need to continue his education even further, his mother said.
So far, McKenzie has graduated from Chattahoochee Tech with an associate’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a science focus.
That graduation happened the morning of May 10. A few hours later, he graduated from a homeschool high school program in a private ceremony surrounded by friends, family and teachers.
Graduating from both high school and college in a single day gained McKenzie media attention, with profiles by the Baltimore Afro-American and local media.
But it’s not only his unusual graduation getting attention. It’s also his history of academic excellence.
McCord said her son started reading at 4 years old. He started high school classes at 8 and college classes at 11.
When he was done with first grade in a public school, she decided to homeschool him: He was so advanced that school was boring him. She says administrators weren’t open to putting him in higher grades.
McCord said her son studied for fun as a homeschooled student.
The challenge for her wasn’t educating him, it was continuing to challenge him.
And she said he stayed plenty busy outside of his studies, with a wide array of extra curricular activities, including playing three instruments in at least four bands.
But McCord said her son’s not done. He starts a biochemistry bachelor’s program at Kennesaw State University in the fall and plans to continue with his education past that, hopefully pursuing master’s and PhD programs —possibly at Georgia Institute of Technology.
She estimates he’ll be done with his next degree in two years or so — a little more if he adds a music minor. Just in time to start dating.
McCord said her son isn’t allowed to date until he’s 16. He did go to a prom for homeschooled and private schooled dance students — but he took a friend, not a date. she said.
At home, McKenzie has several other siblings who are also being homeschooled.
Donovan McKenzie is 15. He’s also completing both high school and college classes currently. He’s planning to get an Emergency Medical Technician certification while studying for his career goal: to be a surgeon.
Michael McCord is 7 and is in either second of third grade — depending on the subject matter.
And 2-year-old Julian? Well, he hasn’t started school. Yet.