11-year-old Charter Student Set to Graduate from High School, Enroll at Arizona State

This is part of a series of blog posts to celebrate National Charter Schools Week. You can find our first blog post here and second post here. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and use #CharterSchoolsWeek!

AUM6 (1)Ria Cheruvu lives a normal life like many of her neighborhood friends and classmates at Arizona Connections Academy.

The 11-year-old enjoys playing golf, piano, writing poetry, discussing books, taking field trips and just hanging out with her friends.

However, while most of her friends are preparing for the upcoming rigors of junior high, Ria is getting ready for an experience that will drastically differ from seventh or eighth grade.

Ria is set to graduate this month… from high school.

The next stop for the student prodigy is Arizona State University in the fall, where she will mingle with college students nearly double her age.

Unlike most college freshmen who are unsure about a major, Chevuru knows exactly what she wants to study: neural cryptography, a study of neuroscience which involves the study of the brain and mind cryptography, which is coding.

Ria, who lives in Gilbert with her family, still insists she’s just a normal kid who shares the same interests as other children who are her age.

“I like to talk about books and normal things. It doesn’t differentiate me from others,” she said.

Although she can blend in with her peers, her success is no fluke.

Chevuru took various tests, including the Stanford Binet exam, administered both by an independent psychologist and her old private school, New Vistas Academy.

The tests determined that she was a genius, based on IQ, according to her mother Sunitha Cheruvu.

As a result, a 3-year-old Ria was placed in kindergarten before moving to third grade the following year, when she transferred to Arizona Connections Academy.

By time she was five, Ria was in fifth grade. This school year she completed tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades.

Although Ria is a certified genius, she attributes her success to an insatiable hunger for learning.

“My inspirations are nature and my mom, as well,” she said. “Whatever I study really connects and relates to my daily life.”

She also credits her parents, both engineers, who teach her many lessons inside the home, and Arizona Connections Academy, which allowed her the flexibility to pursue her academics and still live the life of a normal 11-year-old.

“It’s more than a textbook and a lesson because you get to expand your knowledge,” she said. “It challenges me and allows me to explore and learn more aspects, to delve into the depths of the subject.”

Although Ria has fast-tracked through life thus far and is on track to get her degree before her driver’s license, her mother said it’ll still be a long while before she truly gets to live an adult life.

“She doesn’t have to get out and get a job,” her mother said. “We want her to keep exploring.”

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