Aerospace engineering major 13-year-old Caleb Anderson started the Fall 2021 semester as the youngest student enrolled at Georgia Tech.
“This is the kind of school I have been wanting to go to for a very long time, and I am finally here,” he told Tech officials on Monday.
As the youngest student on campus, Anderson’s parents Kobi and Claire Anderson were there to offer support and bear witness to their teenaged son taking this remarkable step. As they watched him, they beamed with pride while balancing both worry and reassurance.
“Have we prepared him enough?” his mother asked out loud. “Have we taught him enough about failure?”
His father, however, felt confident. “He’s willing to be stretched,” he said. “He knows how to get back from a punch … and continues to strive.”
The family recognizes that even at his young age, Anderson is an inspiration to African American boys and young men aspiring to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.
His story, Claire Anderson hopes, will “shift the perspective of what you see when you see a young Black man. This could be a future aerospace engineer.”
Still, Anderson remains a young teen who likes sleeping in and admits to being guilty of procrastinating. Things don’t come easy for him, and he knows that he has to put in work to be successful. Yet, as he took in everything around him Monday from his integral calculus class, the young genius was able to acknowledge his wonder and humility at it all.
“Wow, maybe I am advanced,” he said.
His parents are happy to see their son take this extraordinary step toward his future.
“I am really proud of him, but I am really grateful to Georgia Tech for opening a door of opportunity to a student like Caleb,” Claire Anderson said.
Anderson said he plans to earn a master’s degree from Georgia Tech after completing his undergraduate studies, and eventually work with the SpaceX program before starting his own company.
Ultimately, he said he wants to make sure other young gifted students have the opportunities he is now enjoying.
“I want to help others that may just need nurturing and resources,” Anderson said.