The Youngest Student At Oxford University Is A Six-Year-Old Joshua Beckford

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The Youngest Student At Oxford University Is A Six-Year-Old Joshua Beckford

Posted by: Mayukh Category: Inspiring People Tags: , , Comments: 0

The Youngest Student At Oxford University Is A Six-Year-Old Joshua Beckford

As I was reading the news, two things struck me – one, that the dude was just 6! At 6, I was busy playing with my Legos and kicking a ball against a wall. And two, he was the real-life Sheldon Cooper! But as I read along and completed the article, it hit me that he was no Sheldon Cooper. He was better. Not only was he an exemplary student, but also a humanitarian.

Confused? Well, I am talking about Joshua Beckford, a thirteen-year-old Tottenham boy, who is the youngest student at Oxford University at the age of 6. Let’s just take a minute to grasp it all. People spend their entire lives trying to dream about being in Oxford and this little genius not only got through but excelled at whatever he studied there. It does make you feel really stupid, doesn’t it?

Let’s focus on the kid. Joshua Beckford suffers from autism, but that has never been an obstacle in his studies or his passion. He wants to become a neurosurgeon – quite possibly the toughest job on the planet and is also an active humanitarian involved in large scale charity work all over Africa.

But what does any of this have to do with Oxford?

Well, Joshua’s father, Knox Daniel remembers sitting with his prodigal child, explaining him the keys in a keyboard, but somehow realizing that the little child could actually understand what he was saying and could recall everything perfectly. By the way, this happened when he was three-years-old. His surprised father then moved onto colors and before long, he was actually performing 3D surgery on his father’s laptop. Seeing this, Knox Daniel decided to enroll his son into Oxford, which has a special course for children between the ages of 8 and 13. Even though Joshua was still too young for it, his father decided to give it a shot and actually scored it. Joshua got enrolled in Oxford in 2013.

Joshua’s academics could actually be a source for a fiction book. He wants to become a neurosurgeon, but is also interested in Egyptian mythology and culture and is currently writing a children’s book based on the culture itself. He has distinctions in both philosophy and history, subjects he studied at Oxford. And let’s just put it this way- the list of achievements at age 13 trumps several million people well into their old age. And not to discredit anyone for their struggle in their life, but Joshua Beckford has never had it easy.

1.    He serves as the Brand Ambassador of National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority Campaign.

2.    He is also the Low-Income Families Education (L.I.F.E) Support Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.

3.    He has composed poetry and also has a Vienna TedxTalk to his name that is captioned, quite aptly I must say, as “The World Through The Eyes Of a Child”.

4.    He has three autism charities set in Britain and Africa.

5.    He is a genius at creating and sharing powerpoints based on Human Anatomy at fundraising events.

To those people claiming that ‘age is just a number’, what were you doing at 13?

But why did he remind me of Sheldon Cooper?

Well, people who have been an avid fan of The Big Bang Theory since its inception would know the eccentricities of Sheldon Cooper – the genius intellectual, the eidetic memory, the attention to detail, and most notably, ‘his spot’. Joshua isn’t that far behind; he doesn’t like children his own age and feels more comfortable around teenagers and adults. And this is something we can all understand, for it is obvious that his mind is way more developed than any other kid his age. When people of the same age don’t have the same intellect they can never gel. And it is human behavior to flock with people who believe in and know about the same things as you do.

But where is the absolute similarity?

Joshua is quiet, extremely so. He hates loud noise, is adept at walking stealthily, eats from the same plate and the same meal every day. Any step further and he would be claiming ‘his spot’. Although his parents recognize his genius, they still maintain that it is a challenge raising him with the added spotlight put upon him by the media. This never discounts the fact that they are impossibly proud of him and why shouldn’t they be? Oxford alumni at 13. Who could ever think of that?

The only difference being- Sheldon Cooper is not a humanitarian. Joshua Beckford is!

In the end, only one thing remains to be said- if you consider something to be a crutch only then would it be one. If you don’t consider anything to be your weakness, you would be absolutely invincible. And that’s the truth of the day: humans can do anything they set their minds to. Any physical or mental disability will not stop someone from succeeding to the top of the world.

But it must also be said that this little genius is an amazing student, but he is no robot. He understands human emotions, human sentiments, and recognizes the problems humans face in today’s world. He is a conservationist, a humanitarian, and an all-around kind soul. And let’s be honest, that’s what the world needs today.

With the kind of hate that keeps spreading throughout the globe in the present times, he is a breath of fresh air.

Joshua Beckford – remember the name!


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