Global Leadership Academy valedictorian pursues goals to help community

Eduardo A., a Global Leadership Academy (GLA) senior, has a good track record for setting and accomplishing big goals. He made two goals as a freshman to graduate as his school’s valedictorian and attend the Colorado School of Mines. He learned he would accomplish both, and that Mines would cover his tuition, in just over a week’s time back in November.  

He said math and science have always come naturally to him and that he loves STEM (science, technology, math, and engineering), which is one reason why he is so excited to attend Mines. But even he had a number problem when a teacher told him he would graduate as GLA’s highest-ranking student. 

“I felt an array of emotions, more than I could count on my fingers; excitement, anticipation, sadness that my high school career was coming to an end,” he said. “I remember crying later that night and reminiscing about the late nights doing homework, applying for programs, all to get to this point.” 

One of his passions is helping his community. Last year he was selected to join the Bezos Scholars Program, which “inspires and challenges young people to act on their passions and collaborate to address community needs.” Every year, the program chooses only 17 high school juniors from the United States and Africa and supports them as they lead community change projects.  

Eduardo named his project “Global Scholares;” using “global” not only because it’s based at GLA, but also to imply inclusiveness. “Scholares” is Latin for scholars. With a theme of multilingual inclusion, the project helps students who are new to the United States, and who primarily speak Spanish, adjust as they attend the school. That assistance can come in the form of tutoring, maps of the school, profiles of Spanish-speaking students and staff, and fun activities to build friendships. Although Eduardo is graduating, he hopes his apprentice will expand the project into the district next year.  

“We worked with about 25 students this year and I’ve seen a lot of growth in them,” he said. “They used to squirm away from people because it can be scary when you don’t speak the language, but now they are so much more engaged in the school, in clubs, and sports. It’s great.”  

That won’t be the end of his community service. He intends on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from Mines, followed by a master’s degree in humanitarian engineering before establishing himself at a reputable engineering company. Eventually, he envisions himself venturing out on his own to conduct philanthropic work, developing systems and technology that benefit underrepresented communities, and possibly even starting his own nonprofit.  

“That’s my goal. If I could apply my gift for STEM to my passion for helping others, that would be a dream.” 

There’s that goal word again. Who would bet against him now?