Joshua Beckford first made international headlines at the age of six as the youngest person to ever attend the prestigious Oxford University.
In 2011, his father learned about a programme at Oxford University that was specifically aimed at children between the age of eight and thirteen. He wrote to the prestigious university with the hope of getting admission for his child even though he was younger than the age prescribed for the programme.
Yet, Beckford was eventually given the chance to enroll, becoming the youngest student ever accepted.
The wunderkind took a course in philosophy and history and passed both with distinction. He received a certificate of excellence after getting distinctions in all the courses which were part of an online learning platform for gifted children.
The little genius has already been recognized as one of the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with autism who have impacted society.
His father, Knox Daniel, explained that he could tell his son was gifted before he was 1.
When Joshua was 10 months old, his father started telling him what the letters on the keyboard were, and he could remember and understand them. “
So, if I told him to point to a letter, he could do it. Then we moved on to colors.”
By the age of three, Joshua could read fluently in English and moved on to learning Japanese and other foreign languages. Being too advanced for a standard curriculum, Joshua was home-schooled.
He dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon.
“Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop, and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs. ”
Being a person with high-functioning autism, he works to highlight the challenges minority groups face in their attempt to acquire autism support and services.
He 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.
The goal of BMAN Low Income Families Education (LIFE) Support is to create educational opportunities for children from low-income families and give them hope of positively contributing to a thriving society.
The youngster then stated:
“I am pleased to be given the opportunity to work in partnership with BMAN LIFE to help inspire and provide educational opportunities for children in Africa to prepare for a bright future for the continent in the 21st Century.”
He has also become the face for the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign, and a couple of years ago, he won The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards, an event which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-root communities that tackle the issues in today’s society.
This brilliant boy also designs and delivers power-point presentations on Human Anatomy at Community fundraising events to audiences ranging from 200 to 3,000 people.
Joshua raises funds for three autism charities (two in Africa and one in the U.K.) and is celebrated for his campaigns to save the environment. He claims he wants to use his gifts to make the world a better place:
“I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change people’s ideas to doing the right things about the earth.”
His father explained that raising a gifted child like Joshua comes with its own challenges:
“He doesn’t like children his own age and only likes teenagers and adults. Parenting a child with high-functioning autism comes with its own challenges. He doesn’t like loud noises and always walks on his tip toes, and he always eats from the same plate, using the same cutlery, and drinks from the same cup.”
Yet, everyone around the boy is proud of his accomplishments and determination to make a positive change.
Watch the following video of his TEDx Talk in Vienna: The World Through The Eyes of a Child. Amazing!