A 12-year-old boy who graduated from high school and college in the same week has opened up about taking extra classes during the coronavirus pandemic and running not one, but two tech businesses — insisting he is having the time of his life.
Mike Wimmer, from Salisbury, North Carolina, graduated from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College with a 4.0 GPA on May 21 seven days before he graduated as valedictorian of Concord Academy High School with a 5.4 GPA on May 28.
‘I’m super excited. I graduated college before high school, which is quite ironic,’ he told Today’s Morgan Radford during a segment that aired on Monday’s show.
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Whiz kid: Mike Wimmer, 12, from Salisbury, North Carolina, opened up about graduating from high school and college in the same week on the Today show on Monday
Top of his class: Wimmer, pictured with his parents, graduated from as valedictorian of Concord Academy High School on May 28
Wimmer explained that he managed to graduate from both high school and college before his 13th birthday because he was able to take on an even more rigorous course load during the pandemic.
‘I didn’t have to commute to school, so that actually gave me a lot more time to be able to pick up extra classes,” he said.
‘It was like, well, we’re sitting here doing nothing, right? So might as well take a few extra classes and get some stuff knocked out,’ he added.
Wimmer had already sped ahead other kids his age when he entered high school right as most of his contemporaries were just starting middle school.
He then signed up for several dual enrollment classes, which worked toward credits at his high school as well as the local community college.
Say what? Seven days prior, Wimmer graduated from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College with a 4.0 GPA on May 21
Options: The whiz kid is deciding what to do next, choosing from two colleges, several job offers, and a fellowship to work on his startup
Soon, he realized that if he just took a few more of those dual enrollment classes, he could earn his two-year associate’s degree at the same time as his high school diploma.
And even though he is considerably younger than his high school classmates, Wimmer was nominated to Homecoming Court last year, proving he had a social live as well.
The preteen finished his high school requirements in December and then spent the spring semester working on his community college requirements.
While it would be an unbelievable feat for most, he said he has always been academically advanced for his age. Wimmer got his first iPad at 18 months and was getting into computer programming by age five.
Little one: Wimmer started teaching himself computer programming at age five
Keeping busy: After going through school at a ‘faster pace,’ he attended high school as a pre-teen and took dual-enrollment classes toward an associate’s degree
Already an entrepreneur: When Wimmer was just seven years old, he started his first tech company, Next Era Innovations, which provides robotic applications for the NAO robot
‘I actually went into a little summer camp when I was really young, and my mom came to pick me up the first day, and they’re like, “Do you know he can write his full name and do multiplication facts?”‘ he recalled. ‘And she’s like, “Uh, yeah, is that not normal?”‘
When Wimmer was just seven years old, he started his first tech company, Next Era Innovations, which provides robotic applications for the NAO robot.
His second startup, Reflect Social, ‘combines popular social media platforms with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, providing a new dynamic social experience,’ according to its website.
‘So “legally” my parents “manage them,” but Next Era Innovations and Reflect Social are my two businesses,’ he said.
While learning has always come easy to Wimmer, he admitted that he sometimes had trouble find teachers who took him seriously.
Keeping busy: His second startup, Reflect Social, ‘combines popular social media platforms with Internet of Things (IoT) devices’
Downside: While learning has always come easy to Wimmer, he admitted that he sometimes had trouble find teachers who took him seriously because of his age
Happy: ‘I’m having the time of my life doing everything, whether that is school and my businesses and still being a kid as well,’ Wimmer said
‘There’s a lot of people, the minute they see my age, they’re like, “Oh, well, you can’t do this curriculum,” or, “It’s just too rigorous for you,” those kinds of things,’ he explained. ‘So really, just gaining credibility and finding educators that wanted to foster my ability was the hardest part.’
Some critics think Wimmer has given up his childhood in pursuit of education, but he insisted that’s not the case.
‘You know, if you look around my room, there’s Hot Wheels cars along the wall, tracks on the floor, and Legos are all over the place,’ he said.
‘I’m having the time of my life doing everything, whether that is school and my businesses and still being a kid as well.’
In addition to several job offers, he’s considering continuing his education at two North Carolina colleges or taking a fellowship to work on his startup.
‘I have many avenues I could take, and though it is a hard decision, it is exciting to be completing this milestone in my journey,’ he recently told Southern Living.