‘Potential doesn’t have a limit. It’s like a rainbow. You can constantly keep chasing it, and you will never get to it.’
While most of his peers slog through seventh grade, Stephen Stafford, 13, earns credits toward his pre-med, computer science and mathematics degrees at Morehouse College. The wide-smiling, fast-talking, classical piano-playing Lithonia resident has been labeled a “prodigy” (a term he doesn’t really like), has spoken at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and has fielded private-sector job offers – which he politely declined. CL’s interview with Stafford was cut short because he had to meet with Jermaine Dupri about filming a pilot TV show.
I started learning when I was 2 years old. My sister was 6 and she decided we were going to play school. But she was actually going to teach me things that she learned in school. She was teaching me how to count, how to add. And I caught on to that, and then my mom started teaching me. And when I started kindergarten, I was doing multiplication. And my mother said the other stuff was too easy. I was bored.
I was young at the time and I wasn’t used to repetition. Generally, when I understand something, we move on. With repetition, I’m like, “Why are we doing this when I already know it?” So then my mom decided on home school. I was able to go through the work extremely fast. And after doing that for a while, when I was 11 years old, my mom started having problems teaching me because it was algebra II. And she was having trouble with that. So I went to Morehouse. I didn’t know what the big deal was about going to Morehouse. I just knew it was the next step in my education – and I’m gonna do what my mother tells me to do. My first class there, college algebra, I got a 105 in that. The next class I took was pre-calculus and I got a 99 in that. And that was pretty much the test for whether I could stay at Morehouse. And considering the grades I got there, we decided I’d stay. And I guess you can say the rest is history.
1. Wear dress
2. Leave bag in car
3. Have your mom hand you something you need to hold onto
4. Stick said item in your bra because you have no pockets.