Tristan Andrade, a 17-year-old high school student from Arizona, has his sights set on his future, and boy is it bright.
Andrade is expected to graduate from high school in June, but unlike most soon-to-be grads, he has a little more to celebrate — namely, three college degrees.
The 17-year-old whiz kid told Good Morning America he started taking college-level classes when he was in Grade 6. By Grade 8, he was enrolled in a concurrent education program at Estrella Mountain Community College.
Andrade is homeschooled, but after his regular school day, he would take his college courses either online or in person on the college’s campus.
On May 19, Andrade will receive his three associate degrees in artificial intelligence (AI), computer science and mathematics. He hopes the early accomplishment will set him up for a future working in AI, a booming field that Andrade said is his passion.
“It would save me years of time and money and really helped me pursue my interests faster,” he told Good Morning America.
Rey Rivera, the president of Estrella Mountain Community College, told the outlet there are 1,500 other students in the school’s early college programs, though he noted Andrade’s situation is “very unique.”
“It feels amazing,” Andrade said. “I’ve been working up to this moment my whole life and it just means a lot to me because it marks the beginning of a new chapter of my journey.”
His parents told NBC affiliate 12 News they are thrilled about their son’s accomplishments.
“I’m just absolutely amazed that he was able to do all this in the time that most people haven’t even graduated high school,” his father, Maynard Andrade, said.
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In September, Andrade will continue his academic journey at Arizona State University, where he is set to major in AI and computer science as part of an accelerated 4 + 1 program that would earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. He dreams of one day becoming an AI engineer.
For now, Andrade — who will sing the U.S. national anthem at his graduation — is ready to engineer his future.
“To me, it really marks the beginning of a new chapter of my life,” he told 12 News.
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