MEXICO CITY – Mexican teenager Andrew Almazan Anaya, 16, considered a child prodigy for his intellectual precocity, will graduate this month as a psychologist and will go on to finish his last few semesters of medical studies.
Almazan, completing his professional studies at such a dizzying pace that the entire country has taken notice, said that he is preparing to continue his academic career with studies in neuroscience and neuropsychology.
Wearing a tie and a doctor’s white jacket in his office at CEDAT, a small school for unusually gifted children founded by his mom and dad a year ago, Andrew gesticulated little and spoke rapidly with his eyes fixed on whomever he was talking to.
“Since I was little I not only liked medicine and psychology, but also geography, astronomy, history, and even philosophy. But since there are a number of subjects that have interested me, I get to the point where there’s not enough time to do all of them,” Almazan said, acknowledging that most of his friends are, like him, very gifted people.
Brought up in a Christian family, the boy took up piano and ice hockey as hobbies. He’s also a black belt in taekwondo, and he dislikes social networks like Facebook because he prefers to communicate with people directly.
At age 6, the boy genius had already read several works by Shakespeare, could name the planets and the bones of the human skeleton, and displayed a “prodigious memory” which even now he continues to show off, according to his father, Asdrubal Almazan, a surgeon by profession.
When he was 9 years old his parents decided to homeschool the youngster, seeing that the other kids at school shunned him and refused to play with him, and after Andrew was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.
Concern for the education of their son led the parents to found a school teaching special skills to minors with high IQs, using a method developed by father and son that both called “the organization of intellects.”
At just 12 years of age, Andrew Almazan enrolled in college and now is just days from becoming the youngest psychologist at Valley of Mexico University and, in two more years, the most precocious physician at Panamericana University, where he is in his seventh semester.
Among his greatest achievements was winning the 2009 Youth Prize in the category of “academic, scientific and professional activities,” awarded by the Mexico City municipal government, which he won against hundreds of young people ages 14-29.
In the future, Almazan – who says he’ll only have a girlfriend when it’s time to get married – sees himself “with some graduate degree in educational psychology” doing research into gifted children and diabetes, and specializing in neurology and neuroscience.