He was taking college-level courses in biology, physics and business when he was just 8 years old.
A 14-year-old boy has been hailed as a child prodigy after a string of achievements including becoming the youngest full-ride scholarship recipient at Southern University. Elijah Precciely of Baton Rouge was homeschooled by his mother while taking college-level courses in biology, physics and business when he was just 8 years old. Precciely is very focused and as far as he's concerned, his life depends on it. “You have to have a mindset to actually know, ‘Hey, I have to learn this, my life depends on it,’” Precciely told ABC News. “Act like your life depends on it because it does. When you learn, you increase your life.” He is now gearing up to finish college next year.
He is currently preparing for his last few semesters at the HBCU (historically black colleges and universities). At the age of 11, he earned a spot in Southern University’s Honors College and became a full-time student in the 2019 spring semester. He also was given the J.S. Clark Presidential Scholar Award. He starts his college career as a sophomore. His mother, Pamela Preccieley, opened up about the need to help Elijah achieve his true potential. "I knew at a certain point that I did not understand some of the vernacular that he was talking about," she said. "I said, 'I got to get him some help.' I knew Southern University had the resources."
He will study physics and mechanical engineering on a full scholarship at Southern University. While many are calling him a whiz kid, he likes to believe he has been blessed. "God has given me the ability to soar with excellence and to never forget where I come from," said Elijah. The university held a special signing ceremony to induct Elijah. Elijah and his parents were present at the ceremony organized by the Board of Supervisors on Friday, May 25.
Elijah and his parents attended a special signing ceremony. President Ray L. Belton, along with other staff and board members, welcomed the newest Jaguar with a Southern University baseball cap, letterman jacket, and pin. Then, Elijah addressed the crowd with a speech, showing he possesses wisdom as well as book smarts. "When I reflect upon this prestigious Joseph S. Clark Presidential Scholars Award, it means absolutely legacy," said Elijah. "Southern University is our inheritance to sharpen and affirm our skills and carry out our initial standards to transform lives and be the best God has called us to be."
While Elijah is certainly taking giant strides as far as his academic pursuits are concerned, he is anything but limited to them. He already has two books to his credits, titled "A Prodigy, My Secrets" (2021), and "Mission Christian: God’s Got Firsts! Coloring Book Edition: Coloring Book Edition" (2018). Not to mention, he also hosts a weekly radio show that features in many national channels including a Cartoon Network special. If you thought that was a lot, he is also an inventor. Elijah has already applied for five patents for his many inventions.
While he's making headlines for his personal achievements, his end goal remains to help transform other people's lives. “I don’t look for just breaking records; I look for changing lives,” he said, reported WBRZ. “My first priority is to be a shining light to help others, and the second priority is to make sure that I help people like me and people who want to connect with me.”
His father Pastor Steven Precciely is immensely proud of Elijah's achievements and hopes he'll inspire many other kids from the African-American community. “You’ll have many Black and brown children to see someone who looks like them and does not have to cater to other institutions that are traditionally known for geniuses,” said his father. “There is greatness right here at an HBCU. There’s greatness here, and you can shine and you can get a great education here and encourage them to do likewise.”