At the age of 3, Adhara Pérez Sánchez from Mexico was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. She was raised in a low-income area neighborhood of Tláhau and was often bullied by her classmates due to her developmental disability. However, her mother soon discovered that her little girl was gifted and could easily memorize the periodic table of the elements. Additionally, she learned algebra on her own at a very young age.
To help Adhara with her depression due to bullying, her mother sent her to therapy and mentioned her daughter’s usual interests to the therapist. She was then suggested to be sent to the Center for Attention to Talent (CEDAT), a school for gifted children. There, she took an I.Q. test which resulted in a score of 162, surpassing physicist Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, who both scored 160.
Adhara’s ability to learn is fast. She finished elementary school at the age of 5 and finished middle school and high school a year later when she was 6. Now 11 years old, Adhara has already received a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from CNCI University. Currently, she is taking a master’s program in mathematics at the Technological University of Mexico.
In an interview with Marie Claire Mexico, Adhara said, “My name is a star from the Canis Major constellation. Wezen is right above Adhara. Aludra is right below Adhara. I want to go to space and colonize Mars. If you don’t like where you are, imagine where you want to be. I see myself at NASA, so it’s worth a try.”
Adhara’s dream is to become an astronaut in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She wishes to study astrophysics at the University of Arizona after her masters degree. However, due to visa issues, her application was deferred. When she is not studying, Adhara works with the Mexican Space Agency to promote space exploration and mathematics to interested young girls.
At her age, Adhara has made it to the Forbes 100 Most Influential Mexican Women list and was on the cover of Marie Claire Mexico edition for April 2023. Additionally, she has also participated in the development of a smart bracelet that tracks mood swings in children who have epilepsy and panic attacks.
Adhara is also working on taking her G-Tests which can enable her to man flights through an agency connected to NASA. If she passes, she will be 17 years old and the first person with autism to fly. What an amazing young woman with great achievements!
Images credits: © Adhara Maite Pérez Sánchez @adhara_perez11/Instagram