Student Voices: Arturo Vallejo

Arturo 1Arturo was born and raised in Columbus, OH. The middle of five children, he will be the second in his family to go to college. Before coming to Cristo Rey Columbus High School, he attended Columbus Preparatory and Fitness Academy, a small charter school. He is a member of Cristo Rey Columbus’ inaugural class.

How did you find and ultimately choose your Cristo Rey school?

A representative from Cristo Rey Columbus stopped by my charter school and I was very intrigued by their work study program. I told my mom that I really wanted to come here, and she didn’t hesitate to sign me up.

How has your Cristo Rey high school experience been?

My Cristo Rey High School experience has been awesome. Cristo Rey has an abundance of opportunities which helped me succeed, some of which I wouldn’t have had at my public high school like the work study program.

What are some of your favorite classes?

I would have to say that my favorite classes throughout my four years of high school were Calculus and Chemistry. I enjoyed Calculus because I have a passion for math, but I loved chemistry because of the labs. We would get to work with chemicals and perform multiple experiments throughout the year.

What elements of your Cristo Rey education stand out?

One of the main elements that stand out from my Cristo Rey education is the work study program of course. I’ve gained so much valuable work experience in the business world. Another thing that really stands out is the dedication of the teachers. Every teacher I had wanted me to succeed and pushed me to do better. They were always there ready to help even after school hours.

What have your CWSP jobs been?

I worked at Panacea products, a manufacturing company, for my first three years. I mainly worked with invoices, orders, and filing, but was also able to work and learn from the IT department. This year I worked at an IT company called R. Dorsey + Co. I worked alongside the database administrator and gained a lot of knowledge about SQL (language for database manipulation).

How is Cristo Rey preparing you for college?

Cristo Rey has prepared me for college academically by oering AP and honors classes. I’ve also learned to become a great communicator and “people person” by having gotten work experience in a business setting since I was 14 years old. My top three choices from the school’s I got into were Brown, Northwestern, and Ohio State. I ended up committing to Brown University!

Are you interested in any particular major?

I am currently interested in Brown’s Applied Math-Economics concentration (major). I’m also looking forward to taking some computer science courses.

What are your plans for the future?

I can see myself working in consulting or banking right after college. There’s also a possibility that I might end up in the tech industry if I end up studying computer science. My plan for the future is to start my own company or to become part of a startup. I envision myself doing more than just working for a company within a market. I see myself creating a new product or providing a new service that will enhance that market.

Where does your motivation/inner drive come from?

My inner drive comes from being a first generation U.S. citizen. My parents are immigrants, and growing up I saw them work endlessly. I learned that life for them was dierent back home, and that I had far better opportunities and resources here in the United States. I’ve worked hard all throughout high school and strive to do great at everything I did, because that’s how you get ahead in America. If my parents were able to build a life by starting with virtually nothing, then I had no reason to fail.

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