The Tenderest Trojan
The Tenderest Trojan: 14-year old student Natasha Lewis
|14-year old student Natasha Lewis|
|Meet Natashia Lewis. A sophomore double-majoring in biology and chemistry: courageous, skillful, ambitious, she exhibits all the Trojan virtues.
At a time when others her age are making the dubious acquaintance of the Pythagorean theorem, Lewis is cozying up to quantum mechanics and chaos theory. As her peers-in-years stand poised at the threshold of the brave new world of high school, Lewis stands shoulder-to-shoulder in lectures, labs, discussions and exams with classmates old enough to vote, drink and go to war.
Lewis academic gift was evident from the age of 2, when she could already recognize words and begin to spell. By 3, the toddler was reading at the second- or third-grade level. Enrolled in a highly gifted program at Walter Reed Junior High School in Studio City, Calif., Lewis sped through the curriculum. By age 11, shed
completed algebra. A year later, she had nailed trigonometry, pre-calculus, geometry and physics.
Lewis had set her sights on USC. She had the grades, the scores and the diploma to get in. But she still needed to prove she had the maturity. Before I would be allowed to enter USC, officials wanted me to do a year at another university to see how the socialization issues would go, she says.
Contrary to stereotypes about maladjusted prodigies, Lewis has had little difficulty fitting in socially as well as academically.
|Photo by Debra DiPaolo|
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