The Coursera team was so blown away by 17-year-old Daniel Bergmann that they painted a portrait of him on one of their walls.

Priscilla Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2014-05-30 14:30:02

It’s news like this that makes us feel a bit better about life.

Meet Daniel Bergmann, a 17 year old autistic boy who has completed over 7 Coursera courses. Founded by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, the educational technology company strives to make the world’s best courses available to all, for free.

Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

Coursera visions a future where everyone has access to a world-class education. They aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

Image credit: Cerdo Morado
Image credit: Cerdo Morado

The young Bergmann has been in special education all his life. Fortunately, things take a turn for the better for the family when they discovered Koller’s TED talk. With his parents’ guidance, Daniel went on to sign up for several humanities courses. Even though the journey wasn’t exactly smooth sailing, he ultimately managed to pass these courses with flying colours.

 Also read: New website Wisely says: Complete your online course or lose your deposit


It goes without saying that I have mad respect for this remarkable boy. As much as I enjoy exploring the eclectic range of courses on Coursera, I’m constantly having trouble committing to the lectures. The minute I have trouble keeping up with the curriculum, I click the ‘un-enroll’ button and move on to something worth pursuing. It’s like Groundhog Day; it happens over and over again.

Yet, here we have a 17-year-old boy who’s determined to do whatever it takes to turn this around. Thanks to his determination, he proves that he doesn’t have to succumb to a neural development disorder. Judging by the picture below (look at their beautiful smiles!), it’s obvious that the Coursera team was extremely happy to meet Daniel in-person. They even painted a portrait of him on one of their conference room walls!

Image Credit: Coursera

Keep an eye out for Daniel, folks. He’s going to make a mark on the world.

Also read: [Inspiring] 2 men are running 250km across the Sahara Desert, for street dogs

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