NewsMeet the Black Mom and Dad Whose 9-Year-Old Son Graduated High School

Meet the Black Mom and Dad Whose 9-Year-Old Son Graduated High School

Nationwide — Meet Henry and Ronya Balogun, the proud parents of David Balogun, who was just 9 years old when he made headlines as one of the youngest high school graduates in the US. The Baloguns took a unique approach to nurture David’s exceptional intelligence, breaking away from conventional methods.

When David was only 6 years old, his parents noticed his outstanding intellect and realized traditional schooling wouldn’t be enough. His parents had to adapt, to think differently about parenting.

“You’ve got to develop a different mindset as a parent,” Henry told CNBC Make It. “It’s not always easy when your son is asking you questions constantly. You have to keep answering the questions because you don’t want to say, ‘Just leave me alone.’”

Henry and Ronya decided to embrace unique parenting methods. But they had one cardinal rule: if the system doesn’t fit your child, fix the system, not the child. In David’s case, this meant exploring Pennsylvania’s Gifted Individualized Education Plan law and transitioning him to the online learning program Reach Cyber during the pandemic.

Despite the academic achievements, the Baloguns acknowledge there’s no one-size-fits-all parenting guide. Ronya emphasizes the importance of not pressuring David into the usual social life. Instead, she accepted his introversion, recognizing the challenges gifted children face in finding like-minded peers.

Moreover, trust plays a vital role in their parenting journey. While they trust David’s abilities, they also set boundaries, especially when explaining complex topics like human reproduction to a curious 6-year-old.

Looking to the future, the Baloguns admit the road ahead remains uncertain but they learn as they go.

“There is no frame of reference,” Ronya said. “So you know how sometimes when there is no path, you start a new path? Yep, that’s what we’re doing.”

What’s more, David is currently studying at Southern New Hampshire University, where he earned a full tuition scholarship to pursue his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in computer science and IT. He was the youngest student in the institution’s 90-year history.


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