Saturday, March 14, 2009

Student Spotlight: Christian Palacios

This week we're proud to put one of our brightest, most promising students, Christian Palacios, in the Student Spotlight. Christian recently received some fantastic news. After scoring a nearly perfect 985/1000 on his High School Admissions rubric, he was extended offers of admission to Lincoln Park High School, Lane Tech and Whitney Young Magnet School, three of the best high schools in Chicago. After much debate, he decided to attend Whitney Young, where he will continue to prepare for a career in medicine, ideally as an anesthesiologist. Despite being in 8th grade, Christian has big dreams for the future. He's already planning on attending the University of Chicago to continue his preparations for medical school.

Christian and his mentor Mike Hayes realize that it's never too soon to be thinking about his future. For this reason, Christian has been attending the UIC Health Science Enrichment Program, which serves as a pipeline for students interested in health care careers, imparting the necessary skills for a career in medicine while introducing students at a young age to various careers and health care professionals. For example, through this program, Christian has met numerous doctors and even attended a cadaver laboratory, which he described as a fun and very interesting experience. Christian is dedicated to this program since, like Cabrini Connections, it offers graduating seniors college scholarships that they earn throughout the years based on their involvement.

Despite his passion for medicine, Christian describes himself as a fan of the arts. In fact, his favorite class at the school he attends, Skinner elementary, is his art class. Though he hasn't had much academic training, he is a very talented self-taught artist who plans to continue studying art in a classroom setting throughout high school. Right now he's enjoying learning about the role of art in different African cultures and has developed a particular affinity for the works of Norman Rockwell. He also has been involved with his school's drama club and plans to stay involved with theater in high school as well. In addition to arts and science, Christian has a passion for the Spanish language and continues to study it at school in his quest for fluency.

Throughout the past year, Christian and his mentor Mike have developed a strong tutoring/mentoring relationship, working together on a wide variety of subjects including lots of math, social studies, science...etc. They also talk a lot about current events, politics and other newsworthy topics. Though Mike has at times accused Christian of being a contrarian, it always provides them with plenty to discuss. We're just glad to have such an ambitious and dedicated student in our ranks. Keep up the great work Christian!

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