The 11-year-old prodigy accepted into Southern University, an historically black university, on a full-ride scholarship last year just started his full semester of classes at the Louisiana college, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
Although much younger than his undergraduate peers, Elijah Precciely seems to be fitting right in.
“I’m very excited,” he told local station KLFY. “I’ve been waiting on this for long, long time. This is my environment.”
The celebrated “whiz kid,” who was home-schooled by his mother and began taking college-level courses in biology, physics and business through Southern at just 8 years old, earned a spot in the university’s Honors College in 2018, according to WAFB. Back in May, he was bestowed with the prestigious J.S. Clark Presidential Scholar Award and became the youngest person in history to receive a full-ride scholarship to Southern University.
Because of the previous credits he earned, Precciely, a native of Baton Rouge, will start at the college in his hometown as a sophomore and plans to major in physics.
“I love to be up here on campus. I love to learn,” he said. “But what really strikes me is when some people think I’m 15. Either I’m a tall 11-year-old, or a short 15-year-old.”
Fellow students like Mubashar Ali said they’re impressed by the young scholar.
“Oh yeah, definitely impressed,” Ali told WBRZ of Precciely, whom he admittedly mistook for a 13-year-old. “He knew way more than a lot of the students.”
Ali added that his young classmate is “always engaged” and always helping teach the class. Another student, Dillon Brumfield, was equally wowed by Precciely’s intelligence and said the boy has no problem blending in with traditional undergraduate students.
“He can fit in, just day-to-day activities. He can do everything that we can do,” Brumfield told the station. “There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s just like, after school is when it comes to be like, ‘Can he fit in?’”
Despite being dubbed a genius, university leaders said Precciely will still need plenty of guidance and support to get through the next few years. Dr. Manicia Gene Finch, the associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said the 11-year-old is so much more than just a prodigy.
“He’s more than just a student,” Finch said. “I think he is a young gentleman and man of the Holy Spirit. “He’s going to fit in very well, as he already does here at Southern University.”
Precciely said he’s ready for the challenges ahead.
“You have to have a mindset to actually know ‘Hey I have to learn this, my life depends on it,’ ” he said. “Act like your life depends on it because it does. When you learn, you increase your life.”
Among his other notable accomplishments, Precciely has authored a book, applied for several patents and hosts his own weekly radio show.
Watch more in the video from our friends at Atlantic Star