People | by Joelle Goldstein | April 28, 2021
Mike Wimmer has a 5.45 GPA at Concord Academy High School, where he’s the valedictorian, and a 4.0 GPA at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
A 12-year-old North Carolina boy is proving hard work pays off as he prepares to mark two major life accomplishments in one week — both of which show he’s years ahead of the game.
Mike Wimmer, of Salisbury, is set to graduate from Concord Academy High School on May 28 and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on May 21, NBC affiliate WCNC reported.
Despite being only 12 years old, Mike has completed four years of schooling — two years of high school and a two-year associate’s degree — in just one year, according to CNN.
What’s more, Mike has a 5.45 GPA at Concord, where he’s the valedictorian, and a 4.0 GPA at Rowan-Cabarrus, CNN reported.
“A lot of people think I’ve given up my childhood or somehow lost it,” Mike told CNN. “And I say to them that I’m having the time of my life.”
Mike told WCNC his interest in technology began when he was just an infant.
“I was really always drawn to it,” Mike explained to the local outlet. “At 18 months old with my first iPad, I started to wonder, ‘Well, how does it work?'”
At age 5, Mike said he “jump-started everything” by nurturing a serious interest in computer programming.
“I’ve grown from there to now learning about a dozen languages,” he told WCNC. “Everything that I know is self-taught. So trial and error and online videos and everything.”
Over the years, Mike moved at a much quicker pace than his peers as his formal education continued. Despite being younger than his current classmates, Mike told CNN he’s developed great relationships with them and was even nominated to Homecoming Court last year.
“I went through all of the grades in school at a faster pace. I’m like a sponge, I take in knowledge very fast,” he explained to WCNC. “I’ve always been drawn to the science of technology, but I am a very well-rounded student and do exceptionally well in all subjects.”
Eventually, Mike started his two startup companies. The first company, Next Era Innovations, focuses on coding and the robotic world, primarily with the interaction between humans and AI robots, according to its site.
The second company, Reflect Social, states on its website that its focus is combining “popular social media platforms with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices to provide a new dynamic social experience.”
Along the way, Mike presented in front of Congress at a conference in September 2017 and became the first minor to ever be awarded a position and hired by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in July 2019, according to Next Era’s website.
“I really want to make things easier for people, especially whether this IoT thing makes it easier for the elderly or the handicapped,” Mike explained to WCNC.
“My entrepreneurial goal is to build technology that enables people to live better lives,” he added to CNN.
With his graduation week quickly approaching, Mike’s parents can’t help but praise their son.
“If one door’s locked, he’ll find out another way around to figure out how to accomplish his goals,” his mom, Melissa Wimmer, told CNN.
His dad, Mark Wimmer, also noted that Mike has grown tremendously outside of his academics.
“That social and soft skill side of him, I think, is the part that’s really grown and really impressed us even much more than just the academics, for sure,” Mark explained to WCNC.
As he looks ahead to his future, Mike said he plans on pursuing a career in robotics and computer programming, according to WCNC.
He is currently weighing his future options, which include job offers in and out of the U.S., pursuing more schooling or participating in a fellowship that can help with his startups, CNN reported.
Image: WCNC video screenshot