Eighteen-year-old Filipino Jozef Erece had recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in law at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) last April 17, making him the youngest person to obtain a degree in the said institution.
Erece was then hailed by the Australian Scholarships Group as the “youngest lawyer to graduate at 18 years in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The young Filipino prodigy shared that he took up law so that he would be able to enforce a good change in the society.
“I initially sought this degree in law partly due to the versatility that it offers in terms of societal navigation. Whether through law, commerce, politics, the academia or otherwise, my humanist aspiration to precipitate positive change will remain a constant,” he said in a report published in USQ’s website.
At present, Erece has been taking a graduate certificate in legal practice at Queensland University of Technology. He anticipates being able to practice law in the country and also plans to take post-graduate studies.
Erece was born in New Zealand to Filipino parents Maynard Erece and Josephine Ana Borja, who considered him as a gifted child. Erece started reading at three-years-old and was already able to publish a book at eight-years-old.
The young achiever also got accelerated by three years in school. By the time he was eleven-year-old; he was already a high school senior and even graduated valedictorian of his class.
“We knew that he was different way back when he was still little. He was accelerated three times in primary school and he was setting the standard in schools ever since,” Jozef’s dad, Maynard Erece recalled.
The prestigious Stanford University then offered Erece to study under their special course for gifted youth. London’s Oxford University also offered him to take their Maths and Physics program. Erece and his family, however, politely turned down both of the offers. Instead, the aspiring lawyer opted to transfer to Australia and enrolled in USQ. He completed his degree in law in just three years.
“We support him in all his endeavors. We believe in his decisions so when he said he wanted to continue his studies in Australia, we sold our cars and our home to fund it and we moved,” Maynard said.
Sports and music enthusiast
Aside from being regarded as a smart guy, Erece was also a basketball player and captain of his team, a taekwondo master, and an orchestra violinist.
He was the youngest player in the semi-professional Greater Brisbane League Gold and a black belter in the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters. He had also performed with the Waikato Youth Orchestra.
Truly, Erece served as an inspiration to many.