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In May ’19, Kansas Teen To Graduate From High School –– AND Harvard

December 30, 2018

By all accounts 16-year-old Braxton Morals is a bright young man. Very bright.

In May 2019, the Kansas teenager is expected to graduate from Ulysses High School with a high school diploma. Ten days later, he will travel to Cambridge, MA, to turn the tassel with the Class of 2019 at Harvard and receive a Bachelor of Liberal Arts.

Morals is majoring in government at Harvard. His minor is in English.

According to a story in the Topeka Capital-Journal, Morals’ teachers in elementary school noticed that Morals was “gifted.” After informing his parents, Carlos and Julie Morals, the school recommended special testing.

Carlos Morals told the Capital-Journal that it all really began when his son was in third grade.

“They told us: ‘You need to do something. He’s not just gifted. He’s really, really gifted,’” he told the Capital-Journal.

The 3rd-grader was tested at Seward County Community College. The results were impressive.

“They thought the machine was broken,” Carlos Morals told the Capital-Journal. “He was like off the scale, beyond an associate’s degree.”

The Ulysses School District worked with the family to ensure Morals could follow an education plan that suited his abilities. Eventually, Morals enrolled in Harvard’s Extension School, typically used by working adults who can’t attend college full-time. Through a collaborative program with Ulysses High School, Morals was on his way to earn a diploma in both high school and college.

The Capital-Journal writes that Morals is likely making history:

“He is the only student to successfully pursue a four-year high school degree and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard at the same time.

Harvard has changed the rules, Carlos Moral said, so his son will be ‘the one and only’ reaching that milestone.

Also, according to author Michael Shinagel’s “The Gates Unbarred: A History of University Extension at Harvard, 1910-2009,” the youngest earner of a degree was 18 years old. Braxton will get his diploma about three months after he turns 17.”

Morals told the Capital-Journal that at some point he hopes to attend Harvard Law School — though not until after he finishes the Boy Scouts of America’s requirements for Eagle Scout.



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