Micah Bobo excels

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Micah Bobo completed his two-year associate's degree in one year, has two computer certifications and is now about 70 pages into his first novel -- all before he graduates from Carson High School in June.

To call him an overachiever would be an understatement. But success has had its price.

Identified as an exceptional student in elementary school, Bobo continued to excel in junior high.

"When I was younger, I was a definite overachiever," he said. "I have projects that are still up in my middle school. But I just burned out."

He entered Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland as part of a special science and technology program where only one out of eight students were accepted.

"I dropped almost a whole point off of my GPA," he said. "I no longer felt unique. I just got bored."

He had spent part of his childhood with his father, local musician Reggie Bobo, in Carson City. He left in the fifth-grade, partly because of the lack of diversity in the town and the frequent racist remarks from schoolmates, to live with his mother Lynson Beaulieu back East.

But he returned to Carson High School as a junior, hoping to find the spark he was missing. He did.

"I like it here. It's very flexible," he said. "There was no way I could have done something like this at my old high school. There would have been too much paperwork."

And he has found the climate among his peers to be more welcoming.

"There's probably a dozen black students in the high school," he said. "It's better now. Some of the kids who used to call me those names, I still go to school with. But most of them are repentant. People mature as they get older."

Still, Bobo doesn't have much time for socializing. Over the summer, he took 64 credits -- four times the regularly allowed amount -- at Western Nevada Community College. He finished his required courses in December but won't participate in the graduation ceremony until May.

He now spends most of his free time working on a science fiction novel he is writing as part of his senior project, an extensive three-part project required at Carson High School.

His one relief from work is his 22-year-old girlfriend Terri Sims, who lives with Bobo and his father.

"She's the only thing that's prevented me from maybe going to the hospital with a nervous breakdown," he said. "It probably cost me a 4.0 (GPA), but it was a good trade. She helps me find a balance. We go out to the movies and stuff."

The two met on the Internet then he visited her in Sacramento. For months, he drove to see her every weekend but six months ago, she moved in.

"My parents have always trusted my maturity to make most decisions for myself," he said.

The two plan to go to college next year but are not sure where. He is leaning toward Washington University which will award him scholarships for his membership in Phi Theta Kappa and National Honor Society or the University of Nevada, Reno on the Millennium Scholarship.


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