STUDENTS | June 6, 2018
When Mario Morales thinks of how Lindblom Academy has changed his life, he has one simple response: for the better.
“At Lindblom, I realized teachers are really there to help you and give you a chance to see a new world.”
He credits one teacher specifically, J Duran, for helping him find his footing in the world of computer science.
“The classes are great, but other schools are good at that too,” said Morales. “Where Lindblom really shines is in the opportunities given to students. Thanks to my [Computer Science] teacher, J Duran, I was able to get internships and certifications.”
With advanced skills in STEM under his belt, Morales says he will begin his collegiate career at the Illinois Institute of Technology on a STEM scholarship where he will study Computer Science.
And after that?
A master’s degree in Cyber Forensics and Security.
As a student at Lindblom, Morales has participated in CyberPatriot, a National Youth Cyber Education program. He’s interned with Chicago Public Schools and Accenture, a company that provides digital and technological services. He’s certified by Evolve Security, a firm specializing in cybersecurity. And he is a proud member of FIRST Robotics, a program dedicated to inspiring a love for science and technology in youth.
The future is just beginning for Morales, but before Lindblom, he says his accomplishments were “unthinkable.”
“In elementary school, I didn’t think I’d finish high school, let alone make it to college,” says Morales. “Lindblom changed my entire perspective of what school is.”
At a young age, Morales says he discovered his love for math but didn’t know which direction he wanted to go with it.
Choosing his own schedule at Lindblom allowed him to find his true calling, he says.
“It helped me a great deal to choose my classes and really find out what my passions are,” Morales says. “My love for math fueled my curiosity in computer science, and I came to find that a lot of the math that I loved came to life in computer science.”
Morales says his dedicated teachers also pushed him to be the best version of himself.
For those wishing to follow in Morales’ footsteps, he has one piece of advice: never take advantage of chances thrown your way.
“Take all the opportunities given to you,” said Morales. “The worst that could happen is you lose some free time to play video games. Alternatively, you can get a job, mentor, or scholarship out of the opportunity.”
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