Academy High School graduate headed to Loyola to study forensic science

Bad guys beware! Yareli A., an Academy High School senior, is headed to Loyola University Chicago this fall, on scholarship, to study forensic science so she can eventually work for the FBI as a forensic scientist. She became interested in the field when she started watching the television show “Criminal Minds.” Though the show is fictional, her motives are serious. Click the picture on the left to read more.

“I want to make the world a better place because right now it isn’t always that safe for children or even their parents,” she said. “We need people with good intentions that are willing to put their lives at risk for the betterment of everybody else, so people can feel safer.” 

Yareli includes her own family among those she wants to keep safe and her inspiration for why she pushed herself in school. She said neither of her parents, who were immigrants, finished high school and they worked constantly to support her and her four younger siblings. Yareli didn’t take the opportunities they provided for granted and studied hard. That began to pay off when she was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore.  

“My parents were on my mind a lot. I remember seeing their faces light up when I showed them my plaque and my dad took a picture of it to send to his family in Mexico,” she said. “I thought, ‘I did something and have to keep going to make their sacrifice worth it.’”  

Yareli said her experience at Academy High School has been positive. She credits the school’s focus on science, technology, engineering, and math for giving her a solid foundation to achieve her post-secondary plans. Though English is her favorite subject, she said she found herself continually drawn to her chemistry class and knows how helpful it will be when she takes forensic science classes in college. Academy’s school director, Edgar Torres, said she is a stellar student. 

“We are all really inspired by Yareli and are so proud of her accomplishments,” he said. “She is ready for new adventures, and we can’t wait to see where life takes her.” 

Yareli said she chose to attend Loyola for several reasons, such as its small size, which could be a big benefit as her instructors will likely be more accessible to ask for help. She also loves the school’s programs. One she will take advantage of provides tutoring and writing sessions for first-generation American students. Another program brings together Hispanic and Latino students to help each other with their studies and foster friendships.  

Her plans are set, and Yareli is on her way to start her mission to make the world a safer place.