Stephen Stafford doesn't describe himself as a child prodigy; in fact, he says he's just like any other kid except "I learn a little faster." At least that is what the 13-year-old Morehouse College sophomore told a group of Conyers Middle School students Thursday afternoon.
"When I was two and my sister was six, we'd play school," he explained, "but really she was teaching me what she had learned at school."
Stafford picked up on everything his sister taught him and by the time he entered kindergarten, he had mastered multiplication. A year later, he had completed his first Algebra course. He finished Geometry at age seven and Algebra II at age nine. When his mother could no longer home school him, she called Morehouse. The college agreed to allow Stafford to audit a couple of math classes. "I made a 105 in College Algebra and a 99 in Precalculus," he said. "That was sort of the test to see if I could stay." And stay he did.
Today, Stafford is majoring in pre-med, mathematics, and computer science. He plans to graduate from college at the age of 16 and continue his education at the Morehouse School of Medicine. "I'll probably be a doctor by the time I'm 24 or 25," he said.
Stafford enjoys speaking at schools and hopes his enthusiasm for learning will inspire teenagers to go to college.
"College students are no different than high schools students," he said, "It's just the next step in school."
When asked how the other Morehouse students reacted to him, he said, "At first they were pretty freaked out. They thought I was the professor's son or something, like it was ‘bring your child to work day', but then I started answering questions in class and helping them with their math and I fit right in."