William Maillis, 11, holds his degree from St. Petersburg College in Florida on July 21, 2018 (Bay News 9 video screenshot)

William Maillis, 11, holds his degree from St. Petersburg College in Florida on July 21, 2018 (Bay News 9 video screenshot)

Before he was 2 years old, William Maillis was adding and subtracting.

As a 3-year-old, he knew the alphabet in six languages.

By age 4, he was an algebra whiz. At 5 years old, a psychologist at Ohio State University said the boy was a genius.

Now at the ripe young age of 11, Maillis has officially become a college graduate, receiving an associate’s degree Saturday from St. Petersburg College in Florida.

But his education is not finished yet, as he begins classes next month at the University of South Florida to earn a bachelor’s degree, as he’s looking upward toward the heavens.

“I want to be an astrophysicist,” William told Bay News 9. “I want to prove to the world that God does exist through science.”

“I’m gifted in what I’m gifted in and other people are gifted in other things.”

William is not shy talking about the Creator, as he told Tampa station WFTS, “Everybody has gifts from God. I was gifted with knowledge and science and history.”

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His firm belief in a higher power now has evangelist Franklin Graham singing the boy’s praises.

“An 11-year-old college graduate? Wow – that’s impressive! William Maillis wants to be an astrophysicist, and he hopes to have his doctorate by the time he’s 18,” Graham said on social media.

“But what caught my attention even more than William’s impressive intelligence and his hard work was that he didn’t hesitate to talk about God …

“He wants to point others to God through his life and his work, and I think that’s great. Thank you William, for wanting people to know God. God’s infinitely amazing creation points mankind to His existence and testifies of His power and greatness. I hope you’ll always keep your focus on Him. One of my favorite promises from the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.'”

Dr. Tonjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College, is just as impressed by Maillis, telling Bay News 9: “I am totally fascinated by William and the work that he has done.”

“He’s extremely brilliant, very open and collaborative.”

Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

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