At first glance, Kimora Hudson seems like a normal teenager. Her interests include swimming, sleepovers, school football games, and hanging out with friends. But it’s her knack for academic excellence and exceptional intellect that makes her a standout. At just 13 years old, she’s the youngest student to be accepted and taking classes at The University of West Georgia (UWG).
Instead of attending middle school, Hudson is currently enrolled in the university’s Move On When Ready/Dual Enrollment program, which allows students in grades 9 – 12 to earn college credit while working on their high school diploma, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Once she completes the program, the teen genius will be will be on the level of a college junior in about two years.
Along with UWG, Hudson, a native of Douglasville, Georgia, is also enrolled in high school. To her peers, she’s an inspiration, but according to her, she’s just “doing what comes natural.”
“I’ve always raised my hand first in class. That just felt normal to me. But when I started getting accepted into really advanced educational programs, I started thinking, ‘OK, I’m really smart,'” she told the AJC.
Although the MENSA candidate is modest about her academic ability, her parents say they knew she was special when she was just a baby.
“When she was three or four months, her doctors told me she would be a genius, because she started forming words very early,” her mother, Fawn Hudson, told AJC. “In pre-K, her teachers would tell me they had to bring in 2nd grade work specifically for Kimora. By the time first grade came around, it was just obvious that she was gifted.”
Recognizing her daughter’s brilliance, Fawn signed her up for a variety of fast-track curricula, including Duke University’s Talent Identification Program, a month-long online learning session for 5th and 6th graders, and Vanderbilt University’s Summer Academy, a week-long residential academic experience for advanced 8th through 12th graders. By the time Kimora reached the 7th grade, she was taking the college entrance exam ACT.
Despite being intellectually advanced, Hudson still faces the same challenges of any young teen. In a recent post published on her personal blog, she admitted that she’s still getting adjusted to college life.
“I am 1 month in and getting adjusted to campus. It is a lot of walking around trying to get from class to class but it is not so bad. One of my favorite parts is the food on campus. There are so many options to choose from. In the Student Center we have a Chick-fil-A, a sushi spot, a burger grill, and a pizza bar. There are 2 dining halls on campus but I have only eaten in one of them. There is a lot more variety there because they have several stations set up and the menu changes daily.”
Last month, she blogged about her first day at the school, revealing how shocked her college classmates were when they realized she was taking their class.
“My plan was to blend in and try not to be noticed,” wrote Hudson. I knew I would spend the entire day explaining my life to people if they found out I was only 13 so I wanted to avoid it at all costs.”
‘My first class was Biology at 9:30am so I wanted to get there early to sit in the front. Well that did not happen because at 9:15 most of the seats were gone and this was a lecture-sized classroom with over 60 seats. I sat towards the back and in the middle so I could see the white board. A girl sat next to me and said “I like your hair!” I said “thanks” and tried to avoid small talk, but then she asked me what year of college I was in. I WHISPERED that I was 13 and just getting started. She stared at me for a second and started yelling out to the rest of the row that there was a 13 year old in class. By that time other rows started turning around. Then I saw the professor staring right at me. I thought that she would tell the class to turn around and mind there business, but NO… She adds to the fuel by saying that “she is probably the smartest person in this room”.”
Hudson hasn’t declared her major yet but aspires to work in the sciences as either a marine biologist, veterinarian, surgeon, or psychologist. Who knows, she may end up doing it all.