An earlier version of this article falsely listed both Tanishq and Tiara Abraham’s age as 10 years old. Tanishq is 11 years old and Tiara is 8 years old.
While American River College is home to a diverse community of students, child prodigies and ARC students Tanishq and Tiara Abraham face a unique set of challenges due to their age.
Tanishq is 11-years-old and has been taking classes at ARC since 2011. His sister, Tiara, is 8-years-old, and joined her elder brother at ARC in 2013.
Despite being nearly three times younger than the average community college student, Tanishq, who has also been a member of the high I.Q. society Mensa since the age of four, says the prospect of attending ARC was not daunting for him.
“I wasn’t really nervous or scared when I started going to college. It was a bit different to me at first, but I got used to it,” said Tanishq.
“I was scared for a little bit. After a while it didn’t bug me anymore,” said Tiara.
At the age of seven, Tanishq and Tiara were placed in advanced education at their elementary schools.
After Tanishq finishes at American River College he would like to receive a B.A. or Ph.D. so he can become a doctor or a scientist. He hopes to graduate in May 2015.
Tiara isn’t yet sure what she wants to do after she graduates from ARC, but says she aspires to be a singer and a vet.
Since they are underage, Tanishq and Tiara had to ask for approval to attend ARC from the dean, counselors, and teachers.
After getting approval to attend, they were last on the priority list for registration, meaning it was difficult for them to find any open classes.
Both Tanishq and Tiara skipped various grade levels throughout elementary school. The siblings were home-schooled for high school, and Tanishq took a test in his sophomore year that would determine if he could exit high school early.
He passed the exam and moved on to college afterwards.
Tanishq is also the vice president of communications for Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society of community and junior colleges. He informs students on campus about PTK and what they stand for as an organization.
Tiara is a member of PTK at a provisional level, since she has not taken enough units to be a full member. After this semester, she will have 13 units and will be an official member.
Tanishq is taking a calculus class at ARC, and says that when first enrolling in that class, his classmates were surprised to see such a young student.
But now, they say, some of their classmates ask them for assistance on their assignments.