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15-year-old to become youngest student to graduate from UNLV

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Posted at 7:39 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-10 12:21:02-05

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KTNV) — On Dec. 14, UNLV will have its youngest graduate in the history of the school.

When Jack Rico is not deep in his history books studying for finals, he can be found on UNLV’s campus writing a 25-page research paper. His peers just look at him as another student, but when they find out about his age, they are surprised.

“Every now and then I’ll get like a shocking reaction from someone, but most of my classmates are really accepting of me, they don’t treat me as a kid, they treat me as an equal,” Jack said.

Rico is not an average 15-year-old. After Rico failed third grade when a new learning system was introduced, he went home and told his mom, Ru Andrade, that there had to be another way.

It was at that point they decided Rico would be homeschooled. After three years, Andrade realized how intelligent her son is.

“At 11, he was smarter than me and I knew that I had given him everything I had and that he probably needed better teachers,” said Andrade.

They found a program at Fullerton College in California. Rico took an entrance exam, passed with flying colors, and was enrolled the next day. Two years later, he graduated with four Associates degrees.

He maintained a 4.0 GPA the whole time, which got him a full scholarship to UNLV, where he will get his bachelor’s degree in history.

After he graduates, Jack said he plans to continue his education.

“I don’t really know I want to get my master's, but I don’t know what I want to get it in, I don’t plan on getting it in history, so I want to audit some courses, discover some of my other interests and see what I want to do with my master's,” Rico said.

This story was originally reported by Abel Garcia on ktnv.com.