Class of 2024

You’ve been here since third grade. What would you say to your third-grade self now?

I would tell him that it all pays off, you know. In third grade, I really thought everything counted towards college even in third grade, and even though I learned that wasn’t true, I’ve always stayed dedicated to my work. I feel like being dedicated for the entire time that I’ve been here has led me to where I am now. I got into St. Ignatius and University of Chicago’s Lab school with full scholarships. I’m happy, and I’m proud.

Your favorite subject is Science. Why is that?

I really enjoy engineering and architecture. My mom has been studying to become an architect. It’s something that I’ve been interested in since I was really young – engineering too.

Being an architect is my dream job. I love the idea of being able to build someone’s home and knowing that people are going to make memories there. I have a lot of memories at my house, and I feel like being able to create that for other people would be really cool. If I become a great architect one day, I would build everyone in my family their own houses, and it would be amazing.

What’s your favorite thing about CJA?

That is a hard one. My favorite thing about CJA must be the co-curriculars. You get to do something new every trimester. They give you the opportunity here to try something new.

I’ve been playing the alto saxophone for two years now. Music is a way I get to express my emotions, and I would like to continue this throughout my life. CJA has given me that opportunity to play it, and I will definitely be signing up for the Jazz Band in high school.

You are doing advanced Math. Can you tell me more about that?

I’m currently doing high-school Geometry through an independent learning project. I did eighth-grade work last year, so I’m doing high school this year. I’ll apply for AP classes during high school and see if I can get some college credits and graduate college early.

What does it mean to be part of the CJA Community?

Being a part of the CJA community is like being a part of a family. Teachers here treat me like their son. Students and friends, the people here are so friendly and supportive. If you have a dream, there are going to be people here who are going to push you to follow it. They want to see you succeed, and it’s something that I absolutely love about this place.

What is your favorite grad-at-grad value?

All five are super important to being someone who is the ideal CJA student, but the most important one to me is committed to doing justice. That is something that is always on my mind everywhere I go.

It’s like doing the right thing even when no one’s looking. Being good isn’t just to be seen by people – it’s out of the goodness of your heart even when no one is looking. 

What’s something that you’ve learned from a social worker over the past six years?

I think talking to our social workers helps all of us become better people. During SEL class, we always talk about things we want to talk about and be vulnerable talking about them. I really appreciate that space.

Why do you think it’s important that CJA has girls now?

I think it’s important that we have girls here because girls should also get the same opportunity that we are getting. After all, it’s something great. I feel like it should be shared with the whole world.

If you had a friend thinking of coming here, what would you tell them?

CJA is a place where you can grow. It’s a place where there’s nothing to stop you, and people are pushing you every single day to become someone better than the day before. 

What are you grateful for?

I am grateful for families, families everywhere. I am grateful for the families of my friends because they’re the people that have made them who they are today. There are people everywhere who help build the CJA community, like our benefactors. They have helped us out with everything – I feel like there are new things and new spaces to use that are added every year. I’m just grateful for everyone that is contributing to the community.