Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

The Sky Is the Limit

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

The Sky Is the Limit

Article excerpt

From an early age, Sky Choi proved he could do just about anything he set his mind to. By the tender age of 4, Choi could recite his multiplication tables and read Korean and English. He graduated high school at age 12 and earned a degree in Asian Studies from Florida International University at only 16, the youngest graduate in FIU's history.

Choi excelled beyond the classroom too. He tested for his first black belt as age 9 and began teaching in his father's taekwondo school when he was 12. Also at age 12 he founded The List Kids, a nonprofit that assists Iraqi immigrant children.

Scoring higher than 99.9 percent of the population on IQ and achievement tests, Choi is considered profoundly gifted. He tested and displayed an IQ higher than the 160 maximum on most accepted intelligence tests.

With such intelligence came great expectations. Many thought Choi would pursue a career in math or science, but he had something else in mind, something that would fuel his heart and his mind. Choi decided on a career in STEM education.

"People have always expected me to cure cancer, to become a doctor, to be some rich person," Choi said. "One of the things I keep telling myself and that really drives me and helps people understand is: Wouldn't you want the smartest people to teach the kids?"

While it was an unexpected choice, Choi said that his parents were not completely surprised by his decision. After all, he had been honing his skills as an instructor for years at his father's taekwondo school, Team Taekwondo.

"At first I was just a kid, teaching kids," Choi remembers. "But then around 13,1 really saw the value of teaching, and it really affected me."

While attending FIU, Choi had the opportunity to study abroad in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was while he was in Cambodia teaching English that his decision to teach was affirmed. …

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