Youthful freshman will graduate at only 16

At 16 years old most kids are getting their drivers’ licenses. But freshman Colby Conner will be experiencing a completely different level of freedom: going to college.

Conner started high school at 12 and turned 13 on Sept. 11. He started kindergarten at 4 years old and up until second grade attended a school in Missouri.

Then the family moved to Brazil when Conner’s father, who works for Monsanto, was transferred to be their Technology Strategy Leader for South America .

Conner was in third grade at an American school in Brazil for two weeks before, according to his mother, the teacher “recognized that Colby was far more advanced than other students” and had him tested to see if he could be advanced into a higher grade.

The school contacted Conner’s parents and informed them of the testing.

Conner, 7 years old at the time, tested out of third grade and was eligible to move up to any grade between fourth and seventh.

Conner’s parents chose to advance him only to fourth because he was already young.

“What I wanted them to do was challenge him in the same grade (third), but they wouldn’t accommodate that,” Conner’s mother said.

Conner said he was glad that he was moved up because he had studied the same materials when he was in second grade in Missouri.

According to his mother, Conner has always transitioned well and had no problems skipping a grade or transitioning back to the United States after fifth grade.

“He didn’t skip a beat. He just moved right in,” his mom said.

Although Conner says the age difference has never been a serious problem, he said that it has been difficult at times.

“(The other students) get to drive earlier and vote earlier. Their parents trust them more,” Conner said.

Even though Conner will be graduating two years earlier than the average high schooler,  his parents are not concerned about sending to him to college early.

In fact, it runs in the family. Conner’s father graduated from high school at 15.

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