'It just takes dedication': 12-year-old boy graduates from Joliet Junior College

'I needed more math to do': Benyamin Bamburac on track to earn Bachelor's in Mathematics and Computer Science by 14

Tre Ward Image
Saturday, May 20, 2023
12-year-old boy graduates from south suburban college
Benyamin Bamburac, 12, earned his associate degree from Joliet Junior College and is now at Lewis University to study math and computer science.

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- For most students, graduating from college is a long journey.

But, for Benyamin Bamburac, it happened well before he's even legally able to drive.

"Well, I did first grade in real school, but that was way too easy," said Benyamin.

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At only 12 years old, Benyamin is now a graduate of Joliet Junior College. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in mathematics in December, with high honors and a 3.878 grade point average.

And, on Friday, Benyamin became the youngest graduate in JJC history after enrolling there at just 10 years old.

"It just takes dedication, and I also learned early on, so it really helped me for today, because I needed more math to do," Benyamin said.

His father said Beny, as his family calls him, was just 5 years old when he started doing calculus. By the time he was 10, he received his high school diploma.

His father said he knew Beny was bright when he just a toddler.

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"I took him to the store and said, 'Which book do you want?' He took 'Calculus for College.' And then, out of fun, my wife gave him 13 equations, and he got 10 right. That's when we found out, he knows," said Djordje Bamburac, Beny's father.

Now, with his diploma from JJC in hand, Beny said he's already focused on clearing shelf space for the next one.

And, he's already working at it. Beny is in his second semester at Lewis University, where he's pursuing his Bachelor's in Mathematics and Computer Science. He's on track to graduate from there by age 14