Meet The 6-Year-Old Jamaican Who Became The Youngest Person To Ever Attended Oxford University
Oxford University, England, the oldest university in the English-speaking world is one of the finest universities in the world. It has been a dream of almost every student to seek higher learning from that institution. About 99.9% of students who have had their education at Oxford started at their youthful stage or more but that’s not the case of Joshua Beckford.
At age six, most young children are entering first grade or primary school, but not for the genius Joshua Beckford. Joshua Beckford as a baby was diagnosed with High Functioning Austism.
While he was just a 10- month-old baby, he could already read, write and understand the alphabet and by the time he turned 2 he could already read and speak Japanese fluently.
Living with high-functioning autism, the child prodigy born in Tottenham, England, was, at the age of six, the youngest person ever to attend the prestigious Oxford University and he received the 2012 Brigham Young University Education Award. Now 13 years, the young scholar who has dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon was recently listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society. In achieving the dreams of working in the medical field, under the guidance of his adopted parents, he developed a wide interest in books at a very early age and by the time he was six he had read 11 very advanced books on the human anatomy.
Beckford at age 8 has performed complex surgeries on computer simulators, he speaks fluent Japanese learnt Chinese Mandarin and has completed more than 1,000 Maths problems.
Joshua’s biological parents are Jamaicans. He became a ward of the state at four days old and lived at a foster home. He was later adopted by Knox Daniel and his wife Sheila Daniel. “We were trying to get him from birth as he is a relative on one side of the family,” said Knox.
Joshua has met his biological mother who took a slight interest after seeing newspaper articles about him but the whereabouts of the father are unknown. His birth name is Joshua Beckford and Knox has started to tell him the story of his life in bits and pieces.
In 2011, Mr. Daniel wanted to challenge Joshua, so he wrote to the university to see if it would let him participate in a philosophy course for bright children between the age of eight and 13.
They agreed and Joshua was the youngest student ever accepted and passed with a distinction. Speaking in an interview 5 years ago as a guardian of Joshua, Mr. Knox stated that it could be challenging sometimes as Joshua tends to ask so many questions most of the time and thus when Joshua was just 8 years.
He said: “It can be a bit of challenge because sometimes he asks so many questions. The other day he asked me “Is infinity an odd or an even number?” and obviously I had no idea.
“Most of the time I don’t notice his intelligence because he is just Joshua to us.” he added.
Aside from his academic prowess, Beckford serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. Being one with high-functioning autism, the young child helps to highlight the challenges minority groups face in their attempt to acquire autism support and services.
Last month, the wonder child was appointed Low Income Families Education (L.I.F.E) Support Ambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and the United Kingdom .
BMAN Low Income Families Education (LIFE) Support was established to create educational opportunities for children from low-income families so that they have a hope of positively contributing to a thriving society.
“I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples’ ideas to doing the right things about earth,” Joshua once said of his future.
Joshua Beckford is Currently In Nigeria and set To Build A School In Kanduna.