Salisbury 13-year-old boy genius enjoying university journey after graduating from high school, community college

Buckley Report

SALISBURY, N.C. (WGHP) — What makes Mike Wimmer so unusual is how normal he is. Does that make sense? It will if you meet him.

Mike is 13 and lives near Salisbury in Rowan County. He’s also a certified genius. His parents, Mark and Melissa, won’t say exactly how high his IQ is. They haven’t even told Mike. But any kid doing contract work for the US Special Operations Command at age 10 has something going on.

Mike admits it can be a little strange when he first arrives to do a job for the military.

“That’s one of the questions like, ‘Who’s the kid, and why are they hiring the kid?'” Mike said.

Mike is an only child, so his parents didn’t have anything to directly compare his development to. What they have learned, though, is that much of American education, over the past 20 years, has shifted toward helping the students on the bottom half of the achievement scale, which is something the Wimmers understand and support.

But they worry that the people like Mike who will be asked to solve our most intractable issues like curing cancer and battling climate change won’t have the support they need to maximize their potential

“That’s what people think – that these kids do not need the support, they do not need help. They actually do. It’s actually a different problem, but it’s a problem,” said Mike’s mom, Melissa. “If people do not step up and help these kids, they’re just stuck, and they get bored.” 

Fortunately for the Wimmers, Mike hasn’t allowed himself to get bored. He has always asked his parents and teachers for more work and pushed himself.

He graduated from both high school and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College at 12 as valedictorian, of course.

He’s now working on a bachelor’s in computer science and an MBA at Carolina University, a small liberal arts college in Winston-Salem, but who knows what’s down the road.

What the Wimmers do know is Mike is enjoying every step of the journey.

“Mike is doing exactly what Mike wants to do,” said Mike’s dad, Mark.  “And that’s the thing: there are a lot of people, the kneejerk reaction is to say, ‘He can’t possibly have a childhood. He can’t possibly play.’  That’s just not true.  He’ll have a Zoom meeting with come colleagues or a mentor, and two minutes later, he’s playing Hot Wheels on the floor. It’s been a wild roller coaster ride but a lot of fun along the way.”

See one of the projects Mike created a few years ago and what he does to relax in this edition of the Buckley Report.

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