Get to know me!
Get to know me!
Rodrigo Andrés Medinilla, a Hispanic-American teenager in Miami who loves to eat tequeños and croquetas and is in a serious relationship with his phone, social media and gaming accounts. To most eyes he might seem like another one of the lot, another number on a stat sheet. But let’s look just a little closer, take an extra second and that’s all it takes to realize if there’s never been a kid that embodies the word EXTRAORDINARY, and that is Rodrigo.
A baby that at the short age of 3 already knew how to comprehensively read English and Spanish. At 5 he was holding reasonable and logical conversation with the adults of his family. A kid that by the age of 6 was playing the piano with the ease of someone that has practiced for years. All signs pointed at Rodrigo being a gifted individual and his parents and family had the blessing and all the tools to notice early and take all the necessary steps for him to develop those gifts.
As Rodrigo grew, school started to become more of a focus, his talents were brightly shining in the classroom and the recognitions started to pile up. Throughout the years Rodrigo has amassed a plethora of awards and recognitions. Not only is he a straight “A” student and has always been awarded the Honor Rolls, he has also been encouraged to skip grades to exceed his learning experience. Academically speaking Rodrigo has been motivated to go above and beyond. In 2018, Rodrigo passed with flying colors a set of exams to determine his high school educational knowledge (P.E.R.T - Postsecondary Educational Readiness Test), which has given him the opportunity to be part of the dual enrollment program at his school. He now takes college courses to advance his college curriculum, while simultaneously completing his normal school syllabus, where he has also taken Honors Gifted classes.
As Rodrigo has always been encouraged by everyone around him to take his educational knowledge to the next level, on January of 2019 his school invited him to participate in the Duke TIP (Duke University Talent Identification Program)'s Summer Studies Program. In order to qualify for this program you must be above 95% in the results of the standardized exams of each state. After qualifying, you must take the SAT or ACT and submit the scores (the normal for high school) to determine the admission to their programs and to see if they place you in the talent hunt they perform each year. Out of 46,544 7th graders who tested as part of the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search during the 2018-2019 academic year, only 15,262 (about 1,31% of the nation) achieved high enough scores to be invited to a recognition ceremony, including 2,241 students (about 0,19% of the nation) that were invited to the Grand Recognition Ceremony for having obtained scores above the 90% of the high schoolers in the entire nation for the same academic year. Rodrigo assisted both ceremonies.
He became a MENSA member at the age of 6 where most memberships are only acquired at the teenager years, but when the organization reviewed what Rodrigo was all about, it was in immediate "yes" to have him as part of their elite group. In his own words, being a part of MENSA, an organization that celebrates, encourages and supports its unique members (people with high IQ values above the 98th percentile in intelligence), has definitely helped open up some incredible opportunities, Among them, being casted for the NBC’s Season 1 of Genius Junior, when was precisely when his global recognition started.
Mathematics has always been a passion for Rodrigo. He can usually solve problems in his head as if nothing, without paper or calculator. In Genius Junior Season 1, he was considered as the “Super Brain” of his team for the human calculator portion of the challenge. Rodrigo was a finalist in this competition and as a result, he was nominated by hundreds of fans and followers all over the world for the Global Child Prodigy Awards, an award that celebrates the brightest and most influential kids in the world by bringing them together. The ceremony took place in January 2020 in New Delhi India, where 100 prodigy children were selected and invited among the lot, to be showcased and celebrated at the stage level with the recognition they deserve for each category that they earned the title of “Prodigy” for. The awards were presented to the kids by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi.
Although mathematics is the subject that has led him towards his global recognition, it is most definitely not the only subject he excels at. Rodrigo is coder and programmer. He performs these tasks in his robotics team, he handles 7 computer coding languages since he was 8 years old and he applies them daily in the projects and in competitions that he participates in; the last one being a VEX World Competition in April 2017 where his team placed in 22nd out of 268th ranking. More than 44,000 robots were introduced in this competition.
But mathematics, and coding are not the only language that Rodrigo speaks. He is currently fluent in three languages and focusing in learning more. His thirst for knowledge goes above and beyond he and his family are always looking for nourishment and knowledge and wanting more challenges to continue his growth. Rodrigo can read any 250-page book in just 40 minutes. He absolutely loves linguistics and in 2019 he won his school Spelling Bee competition and it opened the opportunity to participate in the Miami Herald Spelling Bee for the same year, which he also won. His win earned him a spot to participate at a national level at the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee, where he was among the top 100 most recognized spellers of the entire nation. During this time, he was featured in the BeeTV (ESPN) as one of the most accomplished kids of the entire competition and he was invited to be part of the selected crew in the stage for the opening ceremony.
Rodrigo practices Tae Kwon Do since he was 3 years old. He earned his first category of black belt when he was only 8 years old. As of today he is 1st Poom and is patiently waiting to reach the age of 15 to acquired his 1st Dan grades, since they require an age limits in addition to real and physical knowledge.
He also plays tennis and enjoys playing the piano, drums, and electric guitar. He has composed and recorded up to this day more than 3 songs with his dad, and has an active Instagram account where he plays the guitar and sings for his followers.
These are just some of the many achievements that this charming prodigy has achieved at his young age. It came, at no surprise, when the City of Doral, in Florida, wanted to commemorate him by proclaiming June 13th as Rodrigo Andres Medinilla Day, as read in the proclamation; “…The city of Doral is proud to recognize Rodrigo’s many accomplishments and celebrate his thirst for innovation and knowledge in the world of robotics and beyond. We encourage him to never stop dreaming or pursuing his passions as he is on his way to making an impact in the world…"
Due to his many wonderful achievements, he was interviewed by American MENSA and was featured on their magazine and their web page in April 2019.
Rodrigo is simply and all around individual. He is not your usual gifted, indigo or Mensa kid. His quest for knowledge knows no bounds and the love and compassion in his heart is just as incredible. He is a wonderful human being beyond the exceptional. The extraordinary thing about Rodrigo is that he is not a prodigy of mathematics, or linguistics, or biology, no, Rodrigo is a prodigy in EVERYTHING. That is precisely what stands out above of other prodigy children.
Feel free to visit these articles to read more about Rodrigo's achievements.
2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee - Opening Ceremony
2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee - Round 2
79th Annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee
79th Annual Miami Herald Spelling Bee
VEX IQ World Championship Robotics Competition
Genius Junior Season 1 - Human GPS
Rodrigo's Piano Interpretation of "All I have to do is dream" by Boudleaux Bryant
NBC 6' in the Mix - First Interview
Rodrigo's Guitar Interpretation of "Fluorescent Adolescent" by Artic Monkeys
Genius Junior Season 1 - Memory Cruncher
USA Tae Kwon Do - Demonstration
World of Music School - Inauguration
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