“Life,” Gabriel wrote in his essay, “isn't a moment of constant todays – but a culmination of the yesterdays, the nows, and the coming tomorrows, and it's up to me to decide what I want my life to be.”

Gabriel has an impressive record at a school that specializes in science and math. He wrote beautifully about discovering the night sky on a visit to Vermont and seeing a shooting star. “Like that shooting star,” he wrote,“there are so many moments in life that come and go. Moments that are bittersweet, moments that are beautiful, moments that are unfair, moments that are special. To this day, though I don't often get the chance to, I stargaze. I continue to look for those shooting stars.”  

As befits a budding astronomer he takes a long view: “An important part of what defines us from others,” he wrote, “are the expectations we hold. It's expectation that gives people the courage to push through adversity. Expectation that my life and its possibilities have enough significance that I could work to make this world a better place, if even by a little.” 

Calling Gabriel “an amazing problem solver” who “hit the problem head-on and did not rest until he figured it out,” his school’s assistant principal summed up Gabriel’s promise in her letter to colleges: “With his integrity and diligence,” she wrote.“I am sure he will be one of your reasons for joy in running your institution as a whole.”

The teacher that made the biggest difference in my life in recent memory is Marc Frank, from my middle school (IS.93), who taught science and robotics. I think he might be the reason I’m so interested in the sciences. He made it fun for me while also showing its importance when not many others could. In my final year there, I  also won the science fair he hosted after doing a project about the double slit experiment, an experiment about light rays in quantum physics, and to this day, remember it as one of my most proud moments.