People in Andrew’s family would often joke that his mind was outgrowing his body after hearing one of his quirky observations when he was younger. It never took long for teachers to notice his intellectual promise and soon Andrew was enrolled in accelerated and gifted programs at his schools. Performing well in school became second nature to Andrew, but he always felt like he had much more to offer than what could be displayed by grades.
At an early age Andrew became enamored of finding ways to make an enduring positive impact on those around him. He strove to make learning an activity that was never confined to traditional places like school, in order to prepare himself to make an impact on others through underutilized avenues. As he progressed through middle school he became interested in business and the potential it had to put him in leadership positions to spearhead innovations. That interest then spilled into STEM, specifically computer science and biology.
Unfortunately, he faced some personal issues that had the potential to derail him as he entered high school. When Andrew transferred to Evanston Township during his sophomore year he saw an environment rich with resources that he lacked earlier in his life, resources he knew could propel him into new leadership and academic opportunities. He didn’t shy away from taking on an increasingly rigorous course load and that propelled him to becoming a National Achievement Semifinalist, Illinois State Scholar, National Honor Society Member, and African American Youth Achievement Award winner. This course load also prepared him for a rigorous six-week program at MIT called Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science. Here he was voted by his peers to give closing remarks at the end of the program where he received awards in both Physics and Genomics.
With his increasing academic success, Andrew also began to flourish in various leadership roles in the Evanston community. He is the varsity captain of his school’s scholastic bowl team, senior class student senator, and member of various other STEM activities. Andrew was part of a group of students that allocated money to various local Evanston nonprofits to help them continue making impacts on others. He has also played an integral role in the revival of success in the Evanston DECA chapter as a whole. By serving on the Executive Board of the ETHS Investment club, he helped connect students to the likes of the president of Northwestern University, the founder of Redbox, the founder of Ariel Investments, and many others in intimate settings to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in ETHS. Andrew was also involved in the strategic planning sessions of his school’s Career and Technical Education Department to help bridge post-secondary achievement gaps in the community.
All in all, Andrew just wants to funnel all the opportunities he has received back into his community through various innovations and initiatives. He knows that he is just a manifestation of the support system around him and he wants to be a part of other people’s support systems.