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Texas 12-year-old leaves middle school and heads to college

The preteen said he needed a challenge so he skipped a few grades. He starts next month.

AUSTIN, Texas — On any given day, you'll find 12-year-old Deep Hayer either shredding the streets on his board or making beats. You could say Hayer is your average preteen, except for one thing. 

"Well, so now I'm in college," said Hayer.

Hayer is set to begin his higher education journey at Austin Community College in May, skipping high school altogether. 

"I ended up like helping out my classmates and my friends with homework ... just because I wasn't feeling challenged," said Hayer. "I did it for fun and I did it as a way to socialize." 

His parents, Rosie and Roger Hayer, said they weren't surprised at all. In fact, in first grade, their son was already reading at a seventh-grade level. 

"I think reading and speaking was something he just grabbed on to and we just kept on putting one book after another book," said Rosie Hayer. 

That fed his drive to learn, but it wasn't always easy.

"I wasn't always the A-plus student," said Deep Hayer. "I was missing confidence in those situations. The main advice I can give is if you have a purpose to do what you want to do, or if you have a big reason to do something, you automatically get the motivation." 

His motivation is landing him in his favorite place to be: Downtown Austin.

"That's like my safe place," said Deep Hayer. "I go there for a hobby. I go there to explore. I take photography with my dad."

Soon, he'll be studying downtown, but when it comes to his living situation, that probably won't change too soon.

"If you can pay your bills, you're ready to go," said both parents. 

Making the choice to skip a few grades was also easier said than done. Deep Hayer said it took three months of studying and then taking a rigorous test.

"I don't think I'm missing out on anything because I'm able to do what I love now, and that's something I've dreamed of," he said.

He said those dreams are possible thanks to his nurturing parents. 

"It was all self-driven from within," said Rosie Hayer. "It required no effort from us. So we just facilitated the process and then stepped out of the way. We're going to continue to do that to help him grow." 

Hayer said his parents give great advice but two lessons specifically have really stick with him.

"Number one, don't let someone's opinion of you define your identity," said Deep Hayer. "Two, time on task beats talent every time." 

Deep said once he is done at ACC, he plans to transfer to the University of Texas for business and take over his family's real estate company.


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