BEREA, OH — Age is definitely just a number for a middle schooler attending college at Baldwin Wallace University. At 14, he is the youngest full-time student in the university’s history.
But if you ask William Warren, this is no special story and no special child. He says this is the story of a kid who finally felt seen and was encouraged to do more to make something out of his passion for physics.
“I really had that joy of solving problems and being curious and asking questions,” he said.
Although, like many children, Warren struggled to stay motivated in school.
“At first, school was great for me, but as it went on, I lost a lot of that curiosity,” he explained. “Any outside observer would be like just a regular kid, because I didn’t care that much about grades because I was so disconnected from it.”
That is until covid. Warren began homeschooling and eventually began taking online physics and chemistry classes at Harvard University. As he explained, “this led me to Professor Meyer because I was looking for someone to ask questions. [That’s] really what I always wanted. I think he really saw the potential in me and it all developed from there.”
Ed Meyer, who refers to himself as a coach rather than a teacher, says he knew right away that Warren was talented.
“I don’t think many students have the opportunity to reach their potential because they are not challenged. If you give a student a hard problem, the difference is some students treat it as a nasty chore, and he treats it as an opportunity to learn, and that’s the key to success,” Meyer said.
At the age of 13, Warren sat in on Meyer’s freshman physics class and, well, he did very well. So after a nudge from ed and a talk with his mom, Warren took the SAT and enrolled at Baldwin Wallace. Now a year older, he completed his first semester as a full-time student with a 4.0.
“That just kind of fell into my lap and I’m really happy with the way it went, you know? I’m doing my passion and trying to perfect my craft and be the best I can be.”
Warren is excited to pursue a career in physics, but is determined to help young students like himself by helping change the way kids learn and creating a way to make classes more engaging and less standardized.
“I feel like there are so many gifted kids with untapped potential,” he said. “The best thing is not to lose that spark in the beginning.”