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Alumni Spotlight Leobardo Lopez

Leo Lopez HeadshotFormer M.C. Cash student Leobardo Lopez is headed to Stanford University in the fall where he will be attending on a full-ride scholarship. The incoming freshman plans to major in mathematics.

Lopez received the scholarship after participating in the QuestBridge National College Match program. QuestBridge pairs the nation’s most prestigious universities with students that have achieved academic excellence despite financial challenges.

“I’m the first in my family to even apply to a college,” Lopez said as he explained the pride he felt in being accepted to the prestigious university. “I always joked that I would attend Stanford. This is a dream come true.”

Lopez’s dream has been in the works for some time. Last summer, before entering his senior year at Betty Fairfax High School, Lopez participated in the Joaquin Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program at Arizona State University. Lopez lived on campus while taking a university-level mathematics course for college credit. At the end of the course, Lopez conducted a research project on the Ebola epidemic and presented at a symposium. This intense program helped prepare him for academic success in a university setting.

But, Lopez developed an interest in math long before that. As a middle school student at M.C. Cash, he took Algebra I. In Mr. Wescott’s classroom he enjoyed the reasoning behind solving equations and understanding algebraic concepts. By high school, he was tutoring others in the subject that comes easy to him.

This year Fairfax’s co-valedictorian graduates with a 4.87 weighted G.P.A. He scored a 32 on the ACT.

While he’s not sure what area he wants to focus on at Stanford, he’s considering statistics, economics, or actuarial sciences. And, during his four-year program he plans on being an example for his younger siblings to follow – so he won’t be the last in his family to apply and be accepted to college.