North Carolina 12-Year-Old Graduating High School and College in Same Week
Next month, Mike Wimmer will not only finish high school as valedictorian of his class, the 12-year-old from Salisbury, North Carolina, will also graduate from college with a 4.0 GPA.
"I went through all of the grades in school at a faster pace," Mike explained to WCNC. "I'm like a sponge, I take in knowledge very fast."
You can say that again.
The self-taught robotics whiz and longtime MENSA member has been dabbling in computer programming since he was just five years old. While excelling at both Concord Academy and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Mike also founded two tech startups: Next Era Innovations and Reflect Social. He is currently the only minor working for the Department of Defense's United States Special Operations Command.
But he's still just a kid—albeit one who is just as comfortable doing "normal kid stuff" as he is consulting with the military about the future of artificial intelligence.
"I enjoy basketball, swimming, building Legos, sim racing, playing with Hot Wheels, and attending IMSA Sportscar races," Mike tells Southern Living. "I am still a kid and still do 12-year-old things. I pride myself on being able to have a business Zoom meeting one minute, and the next, logging a couple of miles on my knees while playing with Hot Wheels."
Mike hopes to one day invent something that will improve people's lives, including the lives of those in the military.
"I take great pride in using my skills in support of our military men and women," he says. "If what I can provide protects or gives an advantage to our troops and brings just one soldier home safely to their family, then my efforts are well worth it."
In the meantime, he has some big decisions to make. In addition to fielding numerous job offers, he is currently deciding between two North Carolina colleges.
"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 says.
No matter which path he chooses, Mike seems destined for success.
His parents, Melissa and Mark Wimmer, couldn't be prouder of their son. But it's not just Mike's academic achievements that bring them joy.
"That social and soft skill side of him I think, is the part that's really grown and really impressed us even much more than just the academics for sure," Mark told WCNC.
Mike graduates from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on May 21. He will graduate from Concord Academy on May 28.
Go, Mike, go!