At only ten-years-old, Esther Okade has begun taking college courses towards her Open University undergraduate Math degree. She was accepted as a student after acing an exam and winning over Open’s Vice Chancellor with her amazing ambition. To think our middle school teachings of Algebra 101 still gives us nightmares!
Okade was recently profiled by the U.K.’s Telegraph, and is a native of Walsall. She shares similar interests with the average child like playing with toys and watching Frozen (even overseas, they can’t stop singing “Let It Go”) but she is not like the rest in that she’s dreamt of attending college since she was seven. For three years, Okade recognized her prowess with numbers and math. To the shock, approval (and secret delight) of her mother Omonefe, who is also her home school teacher and mathematician, together they applied to Open with high hopes for Esther.
Omonefe remembers approaching Open as “an interesting process because of her age.” Naturally, she had some concerns because college-level courses at the age of ten is undeniably daunting (“I was afraid it was too soon) but her daughter’s determination moved her. After the application, a procedural test, and talking with the Vice Chancellor (who “realised that this has been her idea from the beginning”) Okade’s been an official undergrad for three weeks. Another reminder: the rest of us at that age were still in fourth or fifth grade!
Being that Omonefe is a mathematician herself, she started this math whiz tradition! Her son Isaiah is already handling calculus and advanced algebra! This prodigal family is everything! (The father, Paul, is a managing director).