Andrew Koonce, 15, is a talented African-American violinist from Atlanta. His list of awards and titles are impressive. As an eighth grader, he ranked first place at the Heritage Music Festival in Florida, winning the Maestro Award for best solo.
At 17, Rochelle Ballantyne is one of the top chess players in the world. This Brooklyn, N.Y., native is a high school senior now, but her name is still at the top of Intermediate School 318’s list of best players. She is on the verge of becoming the first black American female to earn the title of chess master.
Ginger Howard from Philadelphia, is an American professional golfer on the Symetra Tour. At 17, she was the youngest African-American to turn professional and win her first debut tournament. She is the first African-American to earn a spot in the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team.
Stephen R. Stafford II
While most of his peers slog through seventh grade, Stephen Stafford, 13, earns credits toward his pre-med, computer science and mathematics degrees at Morehouse College in Atlanta. The wide-smiling, fast-talking, classical piano-playing Lithonia, Ga., resident has been labeled a “prodigy” (a term he doesn’t really like).
Jaylen Bledsoe, 15, of Hazelwood, Mo., is a rare breed of high school sophomore. He started his own tech company, Bledsoe Technologies, which specializes in Web design and other IT services when he was just 13 years old and expanded it into a global enterprise now worth around $3.5 million.
The 11-year-old is the youngest student ever to attend Texas Christian University. Carson, who plans to become a quantum physicist, is taking calculus, physics, history and religion in his first semester. Given that he was devouring chapter books by age 2 and attending high school by age 5, the boy genius might reach his goal of attaining a doctorate degree before age 20.
Adam Kirby’s parents knew he was brighter than most other children when, at 23 months, he potty trained himself after reading a book on the subject.
So advanced was he for his age, that Dean and Kerry-Ann Kirby took their firstborn to get his IQ tested at just two years old. The London native was found to have a score of 141 – higher than many U.S. presidents – despite not even being old enough to fully communicate. He was then invited to join Mensa, where he became the high IQ society’s youngest boy at two years and five months.
The Imafidons are Britain’s smartest family and have become international models of academic achievement.
Anne-Marie, 23, the eldest child, is multi-lingual. She speaks six languages and graduated from college at age 10. At 13, she was the youngest person to pass the U.K.’s A-level computing exam. She went on to attend John Hopkins University in Baltimore and received her masters degree from Oxford University, all before she turned 20 years old.
In 2009, fraternal twins Peter and Paula made headlines for becoming youngest students to enter secondary school at age 6. Their older sister, Christina, was 11 when she was accepted to study at any undergraduate institution in Britain.
Polite Stewart Jr.
Polite was 3 years old when his parents pulled him out of day care and his father began teaching him at home. The Baton Rouge, La., native loved learning science — and he clearly had an aptitude for it. At 14, he enrolled as a full time student at Southern University, majoring in physics. Polite graduated in December 2012 at 18, and is believed to be the youngest to do so in the university’s history. He plans to pursue a career that will allow him to apply the science he loves to the real world.
Anala Beevers of New Orleans learned the alphabet at four months of age and learned numbers in Spanish by the time she was 18 months. Now, at 4 years old, she is one of Mensa’s newest members.