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11-year-old boy earns his associate degree







ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. (CNN) – Hundreds of students have achieved their dream at the St. Petersburg College graduation ceremony.

Congratulations await every graduate, but all eyes were on one, William Maillis, an 11-year-old who now has an associate degree.

Maillis said the journey was not easy. "It's as difficult as anyone else who goes there."

The modest boy left a lasting mark at St. Petersburg College.

Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of the St. Petersburg College, had nothing but kind words to say about Maillis: "I am totally fascinated by William and the work he has done, he is extremely brilliant, very open and cooperative."

At the age of one and a half William was able to do simple mathematics. He learned algebra when he was four, and at the age of five, a psychologist from Ohio State University declared him a genius.

Now at 11, with a degree in his hand, he plans to continue reaching for the stars.

He said, "I want to become an astrophysicist, I want to prove to the world that God exists through science."

He will visit the University of South Florida to make this dream come true.

When it comes to his ingenious status, he feels no different from his colleagues: "I am gifted in that where I am gifted and other people are in other things gifted. "


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