Alex ranks first in his class, captains the volleyball team and is president of the student government. But that only begins to describe his impact. “I have been an educator for nine years,” one of his teachers wrote, “and I have never met a student as creative, intellectually curious, and motivated.” Alex has used challenges to fuel his passion and dedication to build a life for himself that is by his own design and to ensure his success. He is not afraid to stand up for himself or to advocate for others, particularly those who are most vulnerable in our society.”

In his essay, Alex described a day when he was 11 years old that was the turning point in his life. “I was plunged into a dark depth,” he wrote, “into the space where I had no clear direction even though I could see the stars, I only felt the cold.” During “those minutes that felt like hours,” he wrote, he determined “to prove to the world what I’m worth.” “If life is hard,” he resolved, “I will be resilient.” 

“After that promise,” he wrote, “everything changed. After that moment I don't live a day where I felt insufficient as I used to before, when I felt like I did not have a purpose.”

“I began to realize that I could have a very profound effect on the way people around me perceive things. By helping them to find themselves while I also found myself,” he wrote, “I had found my purpose, being able to improve this world and be memorable.”

Always fascinated by the sky and space, airplanes and spacecraft, Alex plans to study aerospace engineering and physics.

The teacher/mentor that has made the greatest difference in my life is Leah Pascarella  (Writing Teacher).  Leah has been a person who has not given up on my creative and artistic side, helping me develop as a poet and my interest in philosophy. She helped me to find myself and to awaken from hibernation my interest in the sky and space.