He likes tie-dyed Italian ice, BMX and reading chapter books. But there’s something about 7-year-old Sammy Hankins that makes him stand out.
“I’m one in a million,” Sammy said.
The Pine View Elementary third-grader recently was named a Davidson Institute Young Scholar, a designation bestowed on youngsters who “demonstrate evidence of extreme intellectual precocity with scores at or above the 99.9th percentile on specific intelligence and achievement tests,” according to the institute.
Math "really gets me thinking. It just gets my mind working,” Sammy said. "I do math first, it gets me ready for the other stuff."
Sammy was reading before he was 18 months old, his parents Mark and Julie Hankins said. He was inquisitive and wanted to know everything from the youngest age.
The Hankins knew something was “out of sync,” Julie Hankins said.
An IQ test eventually showed their instincts were correct: Sammy scored in the 99.9 percentile on an IQ test, Julie Hankins said.
“It’s not that they know everything in the world, it’s how deep they go into everything they get into,” Julie Hankins said.
“You can’t teach them the same way,” she said. “No Child Left Behind was leaving these kind of kids behind.”
The Davidson Institute provides young scholars—who must submit test scores and a portfolio of original work for acceptance—with free services to help them reach their fullest potential.
“It gives us educational advocacy for him,” Julie Hankins said.
Among other free services, the Davidson Institute provides a family consultant and works with his school to design programs that will challenge Sammy, she said.
Sammy likes strategy games, he said. He also likes tennis, BMX and “occasionally I play soccer or basketball,” he said.
After a long day at school he likes to play video games. “And then when I get tired of video games, I read and play outside on the swing set.”
Plans for the future? He’s got ‘em.
When he grows up he wants to be an environmental scientist.
“I’m really interested in my pets and a lot of other natural things and we’ve got to protect them.”