April 14th, 1994, was a day like any other day, except for the Bent family, who had just added their 3rd child, a boy named Alister Bent.
At the age of 5, Alister enrolled at Nova Eisenhower Elementary, part of the Nova School system is which he would remain throughout high school. From a very young age, his parents instilled a hard work ethic into him and would not stand for laziness. As the son of Jamaican immigrants, strict rules were set and misbehavior meant severe punishment. Alister became very well acquainted with such punishments during fourth grade, in which his grades were sub-par and his behavior was unsatisfactory. However, these transgressions were straightened out immediately, and the year helped to mold him into the student, as well as the person he is today through the discipline it taught him.
While in middle school, Alister became a dedicated athlete, playing three sports and finding a love for basketball. Although he never made the middle school team, he persevered and continued to work hard, eventually making the JV team in 9th grade. As a student, Alister’s grades had picked up, and in 8th grade he earned straight A’s each quarter, a trend which he would seek to continue for the next four years.
Throughout his high school years, Alister developed into a well-rounded young man. He found a love of chemistry after taking the AP class as a junior under one of the most important teachers in his high school career: Mrs. Andre. She recognized Alister’s talent in chemistry and helped to encourage it by allowing him to teach her honors classes and appointing him as co-president of the school’s Chem Club. Alister also became adept in mathematics, being one of seven sophomores to take Calculus AB. He has excelled in volleyball and has even found his musical side, currently a member of a band along with his friends, bassist Dylan Oliveira and guitarist Sebastian Sayavedra. The three are working on their first album with Alister singing lead as well as playing piano.
Alister has made it a priority to give back to his school and community, dedicating countless hours to service. Since late 2010, he has stayed after school every Tuesday and Wednesday to tutor AP Chemistry and Chemistry honors students, helping a number of students to pass their respective classes as well as the AP exam. He has volunteered with the Dress for Success Organization, a company dedicated to assisting foreign refugees in adjusting to life in the U.S. by finding jobs for them, housing, and in some cases providing clothing. He served as an assistant coach for a recreational basketball, and one of his players was a young boy named Jeremy who had Down syndrome. He has gained a number of experiences as a volunteer that he will not soon forget.
Next year, Alister will attend Harvard University, where he will study Materials Science and Engineering and also play NCAA volleyball. He hopes to attend graduate school at MIT and has mixed career aspirations, ranging from materials engineering to teaching to holding public office. No matter what, he hopes to be making a positive impact on society.