Autum Ashante, a shockingly bright Brooklyn, N.Y., girl, is outpacing her peers in education, the arts and sports. This fall, she will reportedly become a student at the University of Connecticut at 13–about five years younger than the average incoming freshman.
According to the New York Daily News, she will study medicine at the massive six-campus school, which educates roughly 30,000 students.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Autum’s father, Batin Ashante, said his daughter’s early college entrance is remarkable, but more importantly sets the tone for other children of color.
“What she’s doing is groundbreaking but this is not about vanity,” the single father said. “It’s about setting the tone for other black and Latino children who will come behind her. They’re always being told they are underachievers. We want to show this can be done.”
Autum and her dad, a former Corrections officer, will move to Norwalk, Conn., in the coming months so the multitalented teen can be closer to UConn. In an interview with the AFRO, a UConn official was unable to confirm Autum’s acceptance to the school.
According to the report, Ashante and several retired school teachers homeschooled Autum and by age 8 she had an exceptional IQ of 149. She also speaks Spanish, Swahili and Arabic; is an accomplished spoken word poet and practices muay thai kickboxing.
While her accomplishments are laudable, the media has not always been kind to Autum and her dad.
In 2006, Internet blog sites caught wind of the then-eight-year-old poet prodigy. Some dubbed the girl a “racist Black nationalist” who spewed “racist diatribes” based on YouTube videos of her spoken word poetry.