Shaquille (Engineering, Binghamton University)

Shaquille vividly recalls advice given by an early high school math teacher “There is power in numbers,” Mr. Galli advised shortly before he died. When the volleyball team of which Shaq is captain was down by 7 points against a powerful opponent, he remembered that advice — and, point by point, he led his team to win by 1. Numbers have been important to him in other ways as well. The teacher of his AP Calculus BC class wrote that Shaq had skipped the first class in the AP Calculus sequence to take her course, relying on what he had studied himself over the summer. He easily kept up, as might be expected of the captain of the math team at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn, as well as its Science Olympiad team. And president of its Honor Society. And valedictorian of a class numbering 607. Shaq was born here, but the family returned to China. Four years ago he decided to come back to New York in search of a better education, living with an uncle. He is in an honors program at his high school, a path chosen because “I wanted to surround myself with people with the same ambition. They are passionate about life.” Shaq wants to combine business and engineering studies, and volunteers that he likes to meet people. His path now takes him to Binghamton University.