A 12-year-old boy from California has made national and global headlines after graduating from college this month.
Clovis Hung, who started college at 9, is now the youngest person in Fullerton College’s history of 108 years to receive not one, but five associate degrees.
Clovis followed a conventional academic path until the age of 7, when he got bored of second grade. His mother, Song Choi, who has worked as a tutor for more than 20 years, decided to homeschool him.
“My husband and two daughters said I was crazy,” Choi told the Los Angeles Times. “But I trust my instinct. I know he is a very unique child because he’s very curious and intelligent.”
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After a year of homeschooling, Clovis entered Fullerton College. His decision to enroll was inspired by another Fullerton alum, Jack Rico, who previously set the record by graduating with four degrees at the age of 13 in 2020.
“I also wanted to be the youngest graduate,” Clovis told KABC. “I didn’t expect to beat him.”
On May 20, Clovis broke Jack’s record when he walked across the stage and received five Associate of Arts degrees: History, Social Sciences, Social Behavior and Self-Development, Arts and Human Expression, and Science and Mathematics. His GPA was 3.92.
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“I feel proud of myself. Hard work has finally paid off,” he said in an official news release.
Clovis graduated under the college’s “special admit” program, which allowed him to enroll in college classes while completing a homeschool curriculum. He admitted to being a little nervous the first few times he stepped into a new classroom at the start of each semester.
“The first question the professors and classmates usually ask is how old I am. They are surprised at what I am doing here and always curious about the points of my quizzes and exams. However, after a while, I have shown a serious attitude toward my study; they all believe in my ability and determination to get good grades,” he said.
Biology professor Kenneth Collins described Clovis as a “great mixture of ‘kid’ and college student.”
“At first, I was a little worried about how he would relate to the other students given the age and developmental differences, however, those concerns were unfounded,” Collins said. “Clovis has been a great mixture of ‘kid’ and college student. He is mature enough that the other students take him seriously, but enough of a kid that they look after him like a younger brother and cheer him on.”
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Clovis plans to stay at Fullerton for one more year to get an associate degree in autonomous systems development. Afterward, he plans to attend Stanford or MIT to work on a bachelor’s degree.
His career interests include aerospace, commercial piloting and medicine.
Outside academics, Clovis is involved with the Boy Scouts and Civic Air Patrol. He also plays basketball, Minecraft and Roblox.
“I feel really proud of what I’ve accomplished so far,” he said. “I also just joined the Civic Air Patrol and hope to get my pilot license at age 16.”