An incoming Pickerington High School Central freshman recently was selected to join an international group that celebrates people whose IQs are in the top 2 percent in the world.

An incoming Pickerington High School Central freshman recently was selected to join an international group that celebrates people whose IQs are in the top 2 percent in the world.

This week, high school life for Rahma Ndao is just beginning.

A few days before the start of school, the freshman was excited to be part of Central's football cheerleading squad, and she was looking forward to taking classes that might help her one day become a surgeon.

She also was eager to soon take part in Mensa International, a society of people whose IQs are in the top 2 percent of the world's population, and which hosts gatherings throughout the world where members' discussions seek to encourage research in nature and use of intelligence to bolster society.

Ndao, 13, was invited to join Mensa this summer after applying as an eighth-grader at Ridgeview STEM Junior High and taking a battery of tests from the organization.

After being accepted to the group, she became one of less than 3,000 members in the U.S. who are younger than 18 years old, and one of roughly 120,000 members internationally who represented 100 countries.

"It's exciting," Ndao said.

"At first, I really didn't know much about it," she said, "but now I do and it's great."

Ndao was encouraged to take the Mensa tests by her mother, Aissata Sall, who exuded joy about her daughter's feat and noted she's a natural when it comes to learning.

"She's a very strong, young girl both mentally and emotionally," Sall said. "She's always on top of her work.

"She's been this way since kindergarten," Sall said.

"She's very serious about doing her homework -- you don't have to ask her to."

Sall said Ndao's father, Ousmane Ndao, has set a good example for all four of his children.

He has received a master's degree in business administration and currently is working to become a certified public accountant.

Whereas she's pleased Rahma has been accepted by such a prestigious group of thinkers, she said her other daughters -- twin sophomores at Central, Zahra and Awa Ndao -- and her son, Mohamed, a fourth-grader at Violet Elementary School, all are excelling academically.

"I'm very proud of the entire family," Sall said.

As for Rahma, she said math is "easily" her favorite class, and she enjoys some political discourse.

After football season, she plans to cheer for Central's boys basketball team, and she's considering running track next spring.

In the meantime, she said, she's looking forward to high school.

Ndao said she "doesn't really know what to expect," but she's hopeful her experiences the next four years will put her on course to a career in medicine.

"I want to become a surgeon," Ndao said. "I like helping people and stuff like that.

"I feel it would be a good fit for me."

Pickerington school district officials said they wish Ndao well in the start of her high school career and hope the education provided by the district can help her build on an impressive start to her overall learning.

"Being invited to join Mensa based on test performance is an impressive accomplishment and a testament to Rahma's dedication to academics," said David Ball, the district's public relations director.

"The district is always proud of our students when they achieve this kind of honor.

"Rahma's accomplishment is truly something she, her family, and Pickerington Schools can celebrate."

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