Special Report: Local whiz kid can relate to new spinoff series 'Young Sheldon'

Special Report: Local whiz kid can relate to new spinoff series ’Young Sheldon’

What do a 12-year-old from Menomonee Falls and Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory have in common?

Thanks to the new spinoff series 'Young Sheldon' which premiered on CBS, we're learning more about the fictional character's past, which is pretty similar to a kid named Sam Demski.

Sam isn't your average student. He scores in the 97th-99th percentile on standardized tests, speaks three languages, is an avid reader and excels in music. And just like one of his favorite TV characters, he's transferring to a new school with a tougher curriculum.

"Sam has always been at the top of his class. Other people started noticing it before we did. As early on as 2, his caretakers would make commentary about how articulate he is, and they can't believe how bright and smart he is," said Jill Demski, Sam's mom.

But being one of the smartest kids in the class isn't always easy. 

"I feel a little alienated," Sam said.

Both Sam and Sheldon have difficulties because of their intellect.  

"Like the school bully calling you a nerd."

9-year-old Sheldon is going to high school. 12-year-old Sam is staying in 6th grade but in a new classroom with more advanced students. 

He and his family also decided to supplement his education during the school year and in the summer through the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY). 

The statewide outreach program, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education, serves about 2,500 students a year. Those students have to apply to the program and be recommended by a teacher. 

"It was nice to find kids who are also smart and just connect," Sam said.

A connection he now finds in his new school and also on television, with a character who kids like him can relate to.

"I feel like that's what Sheldon goes through, like skipping grades, because he's not being challenged because he knows it all. It makes me feel like I'm not the only one," Sam said. 

Young Sheldon airs every Monday on CBS 58 at 7:30 p.m. 

And if you'd like to learn more about WCATY, click here

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