Nakakagulat at kahanga-hanga ang pahayag ni Joys David, 18, isang Filipino-American na nakatira sa California, U.S.A.
“I actually didn’t go to middle school or high school. I just went from elementary to college.”
Pumasok siya sa kolehiyo noong siya ay 11 years old.
At 16, naka-graduate si Joys with a double degree: Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at Bachelor of Arts in Biology.
Dito sa Pilipinas, noong hindi pa ipinapatupad ang K-12 curriculum, ang edad ng pagpasok sa kolehiyo ng isang estudyante ay 16.
Noong Miyerkules, June 2, 2021, tampok sa “Bawal Judgmental” segment ng Eat Bulaga! ang mga Filipina beauties na double-degree holders.
Kabilang dito si Joys.
Hindi naitago ng hosts na sina Paolo Ballesteros, Maine Mendoza, at player-of-the-day na si Cassy Legaspi ang pagkagulat at pagkamangha sa rebelasyon ni Joys.
Aniya, “I started college at 11. So, I was able to finish. I just graduated last year, 2020.”
Hindi rin maitanggi ang pagkagulat ng main host na si Vic Sotto.
Pabirong sabi ng seasoned host-comedian,“Baka niloloko lang tayo nito.”
Sa totoo lang, hindi lamang double-degree holder si Joys.
Sambit niya, “I actually took them both at the same time, so I finished at the same time.”
Nag-graduate ang dalaga noong 2020.
“I just turned 18 this month actually,” sabi ni Joys, na born and raised sa Amerika.
Parehong namang ipinanganak at lumaki sa Pilipinas ang mga magulang niya.
Tuluy-tuloy ang pag-uusisa kay Joys nina Paolo at Maine, na hindi maitago ang pagkagulat.
Sabi ni Joys, hindi “normal” na magkolehiyo ang estudyante sa edad na 11 sa Amerika, “Generally, you graduate high school by 18 and college by 21.”
“Yes, I accelerated. I went from… I actually didn’t go to middle school or high school. I just went from elementary to college.”
Pinakuha raw siya ng exam at nakapasa kaya effortelss ang pagkakaroon niya ng high-school diploma.
Ano naman ang masasabi ng kanyang mga magulang sa achievement niya?
“They were the ones who encouraged me to do it.”
Later that day, nag-upload ang Eat Bulaga! sa social media accounts nito ng exclusive interview nila kay Joys tungkol sa kanyang kamangha-manghang achievements.
Dito mas naipaliwanag ni Joys ang pagiging double-degree holder niya sa murang edad.
“I started school pretty normally at a normal age.
“When I was in elementary school, I started being accepted into some programs.
“We call it the ‘Renaissance Club’ or the gifted program at our school.”
Bago raw niya kunin ang exam, pinag-iisipan ng kanyang mga magulang na ilagay siya sa home-schooling program.
“When I was in fifth grade, that’s when my jump happened.
“Because my parents were thinking about home schooling a little bit, but I ended up taking a high school test to get the equivalent of a high-school diploma.
“And then I passed that test.
“So, I got a high school diploma, and I started taking community college classes.
“So, that was when I was 11.”
“When I was 13, I transferred from a community college to a university in SoCal (Southern California).”
Dahil sa advanced level ng intelligence ni Joys, kinailangan rin daw na mag-advance ang maturity ni Joys.
“I had to mature earlier. So when I actually tell people my age, which I don’t really reveal, they’re very surprised.”
Dagdag ni Joys, “I stayed in dorm, so I was about seven hours away from my family.”
Hindi maiwasang itanong nina Maine at Paolo kung paano napayagan ang kagaya ni Joys na menor na mag-dorm.
Ani Joys, kasabay niyang nag-college ang kanyang kapatid, na dalawang taon ang tanda sa kanya.
“I actually went with my sister. So she started college with me. She was 13 or she was 13 when she started college.
“She was 16 when we both went [to university] and lived in dorms together at the university.”
Sundot ni Paolo, bata rin ang kanyang ate nang mag-college ito.
Panahon ng pandemya nang magtapos ng kolehiyo si Joys.
“And then I just graduated last year, May 2020..."
GOAL-DRIVEN AT A YOUNG AGE
Kuwento ni Joys, sa murang edad ay goal-driven na siya. Siya raw ay very competitive at kailangang mataas ang grades na nakukuha.
“I was a very driven kid. I don’t know why, but I always got scared if I would get a ‘B’,” tawa ni Joys.
“So, I was like, ‘I need an A!’ and if I ever, was like an A-, I would go to my teacher and I would ask for extra credit.
“And they were like, ‘You have an A, Joys! You don’t need an extra credit.’
“But I guess that was just me. I really wanted to do well and I wanted to go to the best schools possible.”
Hindi raw hinangad ni Joys na ma-accelerate at kung siya ang masusunod, mas gusto niyang daanan ang secondary education.
Pero sadyang iba ang itinadhanang landas sa kanya.
“It wasn’t my decision actually to jump grades and be accelerated and go to college early.
“Because I actually wanted to take the whole route and be able to explore my options, do my best.
“And I was like planning to be valedictorian, and I was planning all of these things.
“But my parents actually brought that up and they encouraged me to do it.
“I planned a lot, when I was young, for my future. But God has other plans, I guess.”
Pag-aaral ba ang nakapagpapasaya sa kanya?
“I guess the actual studying isn’t very fun. It’s more of an enjoyment of studying. It’s more of being excited about what I study, and being excited for my future.
“So I got my degree in creative writing and biology, that’s all fun for me because it’s applicable. I can use it in the future, and it can be something I can change lives with, hopefully.
“So that for me is very exciting and that’s what motivates me to study.
“When I’m working really hard and I’m able to see my accomplishments because I put in the work, I get really excited about that.
“So that also motivates me to study.”
Dahil daw sa sipag niya sa pag-aaral ay hindi naging mahigpit ang mga magulang niya sa kanyang social life.
Paglalarawan ni Joys sa sarili, para siyang “night owl” dahil kadalasan ay gising siya ng madaling araw para magbasa, mag-research, magsulat, at mag-aral.
Kaya naman sa araw ay lagi siyang inaantok at matamlay.
Pero kapag nararamdaman na niyang pagod siya ay todo pahinga ito.
“I think when I’m really burned out, I think that’s my body telling me to rest.”
JOYS’ FUTURE PLANS
Sa kasalukuyan, si Joys ay nagtatrabaho para magkaroon ng experience. Pero hindi rito nagtatapos ang kanyang plano pagdating sa akademya.
Balak niyang kumuha pa ng double degree.
“I’ve been working as a research assistant. So my goal is to get more experience and explore the options I have in science and then pursue my double degree.”
Ano nga ba ang ultimate goal ni Joys sa buhay?
“To be a physician-scientist so that I can connect the bench science, laboratory experiments, and learning more about diseases with my work with patients.
“Specifically, something related to neuropsychiatric disorder and diseases, especially since my brother he has autism and Down Syndrome.
“So, he really motivates me to do my best to learn more about different conditions, and help people in the future.”
Nais din daw niyang magtayo ng free hospital para sa mga nangangailan.
“I really want to expand that. I want to have more outreach, so if I could in the future, I’d want to start some free hospital and under resource community, either in the U.S. or even in the Philippines, to expand my outreach where my parents grew up.”
Pero sa ngayon, bukod sa trabaho, itinutuon rin ni Joys ang pansin sa kanyang sariling charity organization.
“I just started one last year. It’s called Relay Runners because our goal is to be the runner or to bridge donors and charitable organizations.
“So that it lessens the burden of donors who want to donate but who don’t know where to donate the items; and charitable organizations who aren’t able to find donors.”
Aniya pa sa plano niyang ipagpatuloy ang pag-aaral, “I actually want to get two more degrees.
“I wanna do a dual program, where you get a Ph.D and a M.D., so you’re physician-scientist.
“So that will allow you to connect the clinical side of medicine with the research side.
“So you are able to advance science.
"So that’s my goal."
Dagdag pa ni Joys, “...also use my creative writing. I wanna write novels and screenplays."
Simple naman ang payo ni Joys sa mga tao: Lahat ay posible.
“You have the whole world and endless possibilities to explore.
“And even though your path might not be straight to getting to your goal…
“Or it might look like someone else’s path that you admire, you still have the ability and responsibility to pave your own path.
“That makes you excited to be alive and work hard and hopefully help others along the way.”