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California 10-year-old boy receives high school diploma

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - A 10-year-old home-schooled California boy with presidential ambitions, who at age 4 became one of the youngest Americans admitted to the high-IQ society Mensa, has received his high school diploma, his mother said on Wednesday.

Tanishq Abraham got his diploma on Sunday in a ceremony at the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento, his mother, Taji Abraham, a trained veterinarian, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

The Sacramento boy, who left his local public school at age 7, actually completed his California early exit high school exam in March, but was too busy taking courses at a local community college to have the ceremony earlier, his mother said.

"He was pretty much self-taught," Taji said of her son, adding she focused on teaching him biology and chemistry, while her husband, Bijou, who works for a robotics firm, helped him with calculus and trigonometry.

For now, he is working on obtaining his associate degree from American River College before advancing next year to the University of California at Davis, which the family has chosen because it is close to where they live in Sacramento, Taji said.

A spokesman for American River College confirmed Tanishq had taken courses at the campus.

A reporter from Sacramento television station KXTV handed Tanishq the high school diploma at his graduation ceremony on Sunday, as the boy's friends and family cheered.

“My ultimate goal would be science, like scientist or doctor, but I also want to be president too,” Tanishq told the station in an interview.

A spokeswoman for the California Department of Education declined to comment on the boy's educational attainments, citing privacy rules.

Taji said that when her son was 7, she took an astronomy class with him at American River College, and that he helped teach her the subject.

"I'm probably one of the luckiest mothers, to have a 7-year-old as my classmate,” she said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Andre Grenon and Peter Cooney)

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