Lawrence

Not so long ago, Lawrence faced a tough decision. He had been studying the piano for years, but he realized that he wanted to spend the time devoted to the piano to technical pursuits instead, among them his growing interest in computer languages. “I was still hesitating,” he recalled, “because a part of me was burdened by a sunk-cost fallacy and the other part of me was excited by my passions for technology.” He opted for technology, and eventually brought his parents along. In earlier years he had shown determination in a very different situation. He would frequently make odd sounds, stick out his tongue, stretch out his arms. A class presentation one day led him to realize that, rather than the bad habits his teachers and parents thought he was manifesting, he had Tourette’s Syndrome. He researched the condition on the internet and found that meditation and exercise could help control the condition. So every day after school he comes home and meditates, then goes jogging. “Fighting TS,” he wrote in his essay, “has taught me a significant lesson about overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles through dedication and perseverance. Instead of being a victimized survivor, I have come out a stronger fighter.” A student in an honors program at Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, where he also has leadership positions in several clubs, Lawrence has already designed a number of computer software programs. His goal is to become a software engineer; his next step is Stony Brook University.