Joshua Beckford’s father knew his son was bright when he began learning his letters at just 10 months old. By the time the boy from the U.K. was three, he could fluently read and learned to speak Japanese before he could write. This impressive kid was also the youngest person to attend Oxford University when he was accepted into a program for gifted children at age six and he has done all of this while living with high-functioning autism.
The child prodigy is now 13 and dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon one day and is working on a children’s book about Egypt. In addition to his academic success, Joshua also serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign and helps with fundraising for two autism charities in Africa and one in the U.K. He also read his poem, “Saving Mother Earth” at the TEDx International Conference in Vienna.
“I want to save the Earth,” Joshua once said. “I want to change the world and change people’s ideas to doing the right things about Earth.”