University Times

Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

Early Entrance Program graduate, youngest of Class of 2016

Cal State LA

Anthony Karambelas

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Graduating so soon? Generally, finishing high school at the age of 17 is already considered early. Then again, Steven Hewitt isn’t your average 17-year-old. Graduating with summa cum laude of his class, this exceptional teenager’s age makes him the youngest member of the class of 2016. In perspective, he’s five years ahead of schedule.

If you’ve ever passed by the basement in King Hall, you might have noticed a hive of teenagers. Perhaps you thought they were LACSHA or Stern MASS student, but they’re neither.

The Early Entrance Program (EEP) at Cal State LA offers 11 through 16 year-olds the opportunity to begin their undergraduate career, effectively skipping high school and in some cases, middle school as well. In four to five years, these highly gifted students receive legitimate baccalaureate degrees from Cal State LA. Most EEP students have different reasons for starting college so early. Hewitt was admitted to the EEP when he was fourteen years old.

“I was being homeschooled before I entered the Early Entrance Program at Cal State LA,” Hewitt said. “At that time, I was already learning from my parent’s college textbooks.” Hewitt later noted he did not regret the decision to join the EEP. But different from the standard EEP story, the traditional school experience satisfied him well.

“I lived in Wisconsin during my middle school years and I had a really strong homeschool community there. I had awesome friends and was involved in a lot of activities.” When his father’s job necessitated his transfer to Los Angeles, however, he had no choice but to find a new intellectual home.

Evidently, he has thrived with a 4.0 GPA and many awards and accolades under his belt. But academics are not the only thing that makes Hewitt who he is. This teenager has strong morals too, attributing his success to his faith.

“I have been able to maintain a high GPA partially because I’ve always tried to do my best work, but mostly because God has blessed my efforts.”

Additionally, Hewitt is as generous and selfless as it gets. He is very passionate about teaching and helping others. In one of his Summer 2015 classes, CS 488, his professor introduced a very challenging assignment; writing a general parser, “a significant part of a compiler—the piece of code that turns what programmers write into actual instructions that the computer executes.” Towards the end of the class, a student approached him for help. Hewitt was impressed by how she had audited the class – receiving no credit, but simply for the knowledge – and so consented to assist her.

“I walked her through not only how the parser is supposed to be implemented, but also what the function of each piece of it was. And when I was done, she had the knowledge she needed to be able to complete the assignment. Afterwards, she sent me a message detailing how grateful she was that I had taken the time to help her and how she wanted to pay that forward by helping others. That very eloquently written message really moved me and I don’t think that I will ever really forget it. That really was the motivation for me wanting to become a teacher. Making other people happy by adding to their understanding and knowledge made me happy, too.”

This compassionate teenager, however, is not without his struggles. Having graduated in three years, he described his last year as being quite challenging academically, mostly because of the sheer volume of work.

Heading off to UC Berkeley in the fall, there is no limit to the wonders he will accomplish there. “UC Berkeley is an amazing school with a diverse student body. Berkeley’s computer science graduate school program is ranked number one and strikes a good balance between practice and theory. The school in general has so much to offer,” said Hewitt.

The whiz kid had one last piece of advice for his peers. “Any students who think that they might want to consider going to graduate school is to focus on research early on. It’s generally not enough to have good grades and GRE scores. Graduate schools are looking for strong research experience. Don’t wait until your senior year because by then you are already filling out graduate school applications.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate”

  1. Ray Heyman on June 22nd, 2016 12:32 pm

    I graduated in 1983 at age 20.
    Do you have any statistical data relating to the number of people who graduated at age 20 or younger
    Thx

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Campus News

    Measles Exposure Leaves Hundreds Quarantined

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Headlines

    Letter From the Editor

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Headlines

    Letter From the Editor

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Newest

    Letter From the Editor

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Newest

    Editor-in-Chief Addresses

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Headlines

    Hi Golden Eagles!

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Headlines

    Letter From The Editor

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Newest

    Grab ‘em by the Presidency: The Female 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

  • Seventeen year old becomes youngest Cal State LA graduate

    Headlines

    Letter From The Editor

  • Campus News

    Settlement Reached between University and Former Athletic Administrator

Navigate Right
The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles