Wednesday, June 29, 2011

13-Year-Old Bronx Prodigy Heads to College

There's a new star rising on Pelham Parkway and her name is Autum Shante. 

This young prodigy is on the road to doing something extraordinary. This fall, she's heading to the University of Connecticut for her freshman year, at the amazing age of thirteen. 

Autum has got a lot going for her. She speaks no less than three different languages (Arabic, Swahili, and Spanish), is an accomplished performer of spoken word at various venues around the country, and scored 149 on an IQ test, higher than most college students.

Her father, Ben Ashante, recognized Autum's talents early on and opted for homeschooling. Having retired early, Ben was able to dedicate himself to his daughter's education full time. He also enlisted the help of the community, including local retired teachers.

"What she's doing is groundbreaking but this is not about vanity," he said. "It's about setting the tone for other black and Latino children who will come behind her. They're always being told they are underachievers. We want to show this can be done."

Mr. Ashante said in a recent statement to the Daily News that he wants his child to be a role model for others, especially Black and Latino young people. 

With the public school system failing in various cities across the country, especially in Black and Latino neighborhoods, Autum Ashanti's story may inspire more parents to home school their children.

Congratulations, Autum!


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