The Dallas Examiner
Memorizing the shapes of the countries of Africa, solving complex math problems, learning to spell words such as “adscititious,” and having to study for 12 hours every day may cause some people to get a headache. But not for 10-year-old Chancellor Gary of Stuart, Florida, who enjoys studying and loves a challenge.
“It’s fun to have a challenging problem and I can’t pinpoint why,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor is considered a child genius and was chosen as one of many students with extraordinarily high IQs to compete in the second season of Child Genius: Battle of the Brightest television reality show on the Lifetime channel where the young contestants have a chance to win a $100,000 college fund. The show airs every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. for the next five weeks.
It was created in cooperation with American Mensa and tests the knowledge of children ages 9 to 12 in math, spelling, literature, geography, logic, science and current events. The competition lasted 10 weeks and took place this last summer.
“It was a lot of hard work participating in the competition but it was fun also,” Chancellor said. “In just the first few episodes, I made a lot of friends and also got to play many games.”
In fact, Chancellor won the first round of Child Genius with a perfect score by memorizing the order of 52 cards.
“I felt really good winning the first round,” he said.
Due to contractual obligations, the family is not allowed to reveal the final results of the show.
Chancellor has tested at a high school grade level and received high honors from John Hopkins University CTY International Talent Search.
His love for learning started early, at the age of 1, when he could already speak in complete sentences. At age 3, he could name every president of the United States and he knew the location of every state on a map and their capital.
His parents said they knew at a very young age that their son had special gifts.
“At a very young age, Chancellor was doing things that didn’t seem typical,” said his mother, Taylora O’Bryant Gary, a former Wall Street investment banker. “He learned to speak really early and at 2 years old he was using complete sentences and was learning and pretty much picking up from adults a lot of large complex words and he would use them in proper context. When he would ask questions about things, the questions would never be superficial questions but questions that I would have to research more information on to get the answer. He was always very inquisitive.”
Chancellor’s father, Sekou Gary, a civil trial attorney, credited his wife for preparing his son to be his best at everything.
“At 2 years old, Chancellor’s level of conversation and reasoning set him apart because he reasoned at a higher level,” Sekou Gary said. “He was just gifted and different and had a special mind and special skill set. From day one, his mom just nurtured him to the highest level. She recognized it and challenged Chancellor to perform at his best.”
Chancellor is currently home schooled after skipping the first grade and breezing through the second grade. His mother said she realized her son was ahead of other students in second grade when he would finish assignments within minutes when it took other students around 30 minutes to finish. Chancellor also beat out everyone in his class to win the spelling bee and then competed against all the winners from grades first through eighth and placed first as well.
“He only had two to three days to study and memorize the spelling bee competition because for some reason I didn’t get the forms or paperwork on what to study for the competition until two or three days earlier, while the other kids had the material for a month,” Taylora O’Bryant Gary said. “I realized that when Chancellor won, that we had something special and maybe he wasn’t challenged enough in school so I decided to home school him.”
Taylora O’Bryant Gary teaches Chancellor at home using what she considers to be the best of different curriculums. He also has tutors in physics, chemistry and economics. She said home schooling her son has inspired other parents as well.
“When they see how ahead Chancellor is, parents always ask me about how home schooling can benefit their children as well,” she said.
Chancellor’s father tries not to put too much pressure on his child.
“We don’t want him to burnout but just have fun with the competition,” Sekou Gary said. “We want him to have a balanced life. Also, I haven’t experienced any envy from other parents, family or friends because we don’t go boasting around about how smart our son is. We just want him to enjoy being a kid but also do his best.”
Similar to many youth, Chancellor stated his favorite part about the show is socializing.
“The best thing about participating in the show was the friendships the families who competed developed,” Taylora O’Bryant Gary said. “We were able to relate to other families who had children similar to ours and the advantages and challenges we all shared.”
Even though he studies hard, his parents make sure they don’t overwhelm him. He also has opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities such as basketball, Boy Scouts, for which he has received a First Class rank, and Taekwondo, for which he earned a black belt.
Chancellor also loves playing video games and aspires to be a software developer. His goals include developing a device that detours neurological signals.
He hopes to be a good example for other children looking to achieve their best.
“Study a lot, believe in yourself and you should be able to do whatever your goal is in life,” he said.