It triggers discussion about teenage role models; Abraham’s mother welcomes the debate.
(This post has been updated.)
A Facebook post by a single dad comparing 13-year-old Indian American child prodigy Tanishq Abraham to Danielle Bregoli, 13, a school dropout who has a history of criminal record, has gone viral on the social media.
In a Facebook note, posted on March 1, Matthew Lee Owen compares the two teenagers, who are worlds apart when it comes to interests and accomplishments. The post juxtaposes the photographs of the two.
Bregoli, who can barely speak English and known for her bad attitude, is a social media star. The “Cash Me Ousside” girl became an overnight celebrity after a disastrous appearance on the Dr. Phil show. In February, she along with her mother, was thrown out of a Sprit Airlines flight after they picked up a brawl with a co-passenger. All three have been slapped with a lifetime ban in all Sprit Airlines flights.
On his post, Owen asks whether American youths are choosing wrong role models. His answer: a firm “Yes.”
The post gained huge attention. Within five days, it received more than 224,000 Likes and more than 343,500 shares. It has also been shared by a number of other pages, such as Anonymous and the Free Thought Project.
Owen, father of a 7-year-old, pointed out that the social media habits of American youth pose serious questions, especially their inability to choose good role models.
He first introduces Sacramento resident Abraham, who already has three community college degrees. Owen writes:
“This is Tanishq Abraham, A 13-year-old Sacramento student who already has three community college degrees and has been accepted to two University of California campuses, plans on studying biomedical engineering, and becoming a doctor and medical researcher by the time he turns 18.”
Abraham graduated from high school at the age of 10 with a 4.0 Grade Point Average, and at the age of 11, he graduated from American River College in Sacramento with three associate degrees: in math and physical science, general science and foreign language studies.
The Indian American teenager got offers of admission from two California universities: University of California Davis (UC Davis) and University of California Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz). He aspires to be a physician by the age of 18.
This is how Owen describes Bregoli:.
“But America’s most famous child is this girl, 13-year-old Danielle Bregoli, who dropped out of school by 7th grade, has had multiple runs in’s with law enforcement exhibiting violent behavior, and is illiterate to the point she can barely speak fluent English. She also has over 5.1 million followers on Instagram.”
Owen says the fact that Bregoli’s social media following far outnumbers that of Abraham provides the answer to the question “Why America is in decline?”
He writes that the overwhelming followers for Bregoli is the result of the negative publicity that she got through media for all wrong reasons and this trend is the reason “America is in decline.”
Owen concludes his post saying, “this should be seen Along with the fact that the majority of these 5.1 million people vote and elect our current ‘leaders.'”
Abraham’s mother, Taji, told The American Bazaar that her family is pleased that such a discussion on the need for right role models has taken place on the social media.
“We are happy that parents are realizing that kids need role models. Tanishq’s hard work is being recognized,” Taji Abraham said.
She said she was surprised by the reaction to Owen’s post.
“On March 1st, all of a sudden Tanishq started getting a lot of friends request on Facebook, and we didn’t know what was happening. I did an internet search and traced it to Matthew Lee Owen,” she said. “I got to know that he has a 7-year-old and is thinking a lot about his future.”
Tanishq Abraham’s sister Tiara Thankam is also a highly accomplished child. She entered college at the age of 7, and also has released her first album, a collection of nine world holiday songs in six languages.
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