‘It just takes dedication’: 12-year-old boy graduates from junior college

JOLIET, Ill. — While most 12-year-olds are thinking about middle school, a boy in suburban Chicago already has a degree from a junior college.

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Benyamin Bamburac, 12, of Joliet, Illinois, became the youngest graduate in the history of Joliet Junior College, WLS-TV reported. Bamburac walked across the stage on Friday after earning his associate of arts degree in mathematics in December, according to the television station. He finished his courses with a 3.878 grade-point average.

“It just takes dedication, and I also learned early on, so it really helped me for today, because I needed more math to do,” Bamburac told WLS.

Bamburac, called “Beny” by family and friends, was excelling in math classes far beyond his grade level, WFLD-TV reported.

Sensing that traditional schools could not challenge him, Bamburac’s parents decided to homeschool him, according to the television station. Even at home, the boy was able to excel in high school courses.

The boy’s father, Djordje Bamburac, said his son was doing calculus problems when he was 5 years old, WLS reported.

“I took him to the store and said, ‘Which book do you want?’ He took ‘Calculus for College.’” Djordje Bamburac told the television station. “And then, out of fun, my wife gave him 13 equations, and he got 10 right. That’s when we found out, he knows.”

By the time he was 10, Beny had received his high school diploma.

And now with a two-year college degree, Beny moves on. He is now enrolled at Lewis University and entered as a junior, WFLD reported.

Already in his second semester, Beny is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science, according to WLS. He is on track to graduate when he is 14.

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