One might remember the name Joshua Beckford belonging to the youngest person to attend Oxford University at only age six. Joshua’s story is quite remarkable, as he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism from an early age but never let the diagnosis damper his aspirations. At two years old he learned how to read effortlessly using phonics and by age three he was speaking fluent Japanese. Joshua is now 13 years old, with some incredible achievements already under his belt. Joshua attended Oxford University on an on-line platform to pursue master classes in Philosophy when he was only six years old, however Joshua additionally conducted a research project on the plague of 1665, making him the youngest person in the world to receive a distinction in both Philosophy and History.
But Joshua’s aspirations have not digressed since his admission to the prestigious university. In the future, he dreams of becoming an exceptional neurosurgeon! His interests are wide-ranging, and heavily influences where he decides to place his attention. For example, his long-standing interest in Egypt has inspired him to write a children’s book about the remarkable nation.
In addition to all of his achievements, Joshua is currently listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted society. Joshua additionally serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority campaign. Inspired by his own autism diagnosis, Joshua helps spread the campaigns mission of highlighting obstacles blacks face when trying to obtain access to necessary autism support and services.
In 2017, Joshua won the positive Role Model of the year award at the National Diversity Awards. When he was interviewed after receiving the award, Joshua explained that he believes his story is making a big difference to children everywhere who read about him. When asked why he believes it is so important to highlight diversity, equality, and inclusion, Joshua responded, “It’s important to highlight diversity, equality and inclusion because it reflects how the world really is and it gives companies and organizations who promote Diversity, Equality and Inclusion an advantage over their competitors.”
Joshua’s achievements are continuous, as recently as this January 2019 he was appointed the Low Income Families Education (L.I.F.E.) Supportambassador for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network in Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and the United Kingdom. Joshua explained, “I am pleased to be given the opportunity to work in partnership with you to help inspire and provide educational opportunities for children in Africa to prepare for a bright future for the continent in the 21st Century”. Joshua truly is an exceptional young man, with an exceedingly big heart and bright future.